The UCLA Bruins did well in 2017 recruitment, but head coach Jim Mora didn’t take ESPN’s criticism of injured sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen very well.
Despite going 4-8 (2-7) in 2016, the UCLA Bruins responded with a top-20 recruiting class in 2017. UCLA had a down year in 2016, but the Bruins are a top-25 program all-time. It’s a program that usually does well in recruitment most years any way.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora has done a great job in five years on the job, going 41-24 over that stretch. He was being interviewed on ESPN by Joe Tessitore about his recruiting class on National Signing Day 2017. When Tessitore implied that UCLA’s star quarterback Josh Rosen had an ‘up and down season’, Mora went off on the ESPN television analyst.
Mora didn’t take kindly to Rosen having an inconsistent season, saying that “Josh Rosen played 5 games.” Rosen suffered nerve damage in his arm and had to miss the second half of the season. UCLA struggled in Pac-12 play in his absence and went 1-5 in its six games without Rosen under center.
Mora makes his point clear that with a healthy five-star quarterback under center in Rosen that UCLA’s 2016 season would have been different. However, the UCLA head coach got the number of games wrong that Rosen played in this past season: six.
Rosen played in the Bruins’ first six games: Texas A&M, UNLV, BYU, Stanford, Arizona, and Arizona State. He did have to leave the game with the Arizona State Sun Devils early due to injury, so that is probably why Mora is siding with five. Let’s just say 2016 was not kind to Mora’s UCLA program.
The good news is the Bruins have a top-20 recruiting class, Rosen coming back as a true junior in 2017, and Mora has a sound byte on par with his father’s Playoffs rant while with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bruins should bounce back and be bowl eligible in 2017. Let’s assume that Rosen plays more than five/six games this fall. Otherwise, UCLA will miss the Playoffs for yet another season.