UCLA players' reaction to DeShaun Foster hire shows Bruins got the right guy

As long as DeShaun Foster gets his guys to buy-in, then UCLA can have success in the Big Ten.

DeShaun Foster, UCLA Bruins
DeShaun Foster, UCLA Bruins / David Madison/GettyImages
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At least for now, UCLA football players seem to love that DeShaun Foster got promoted from within to be their new head coach. With Chip Kelly up and leaving to be the new offensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes, UCLA had to act quickly to fill its unexpected head-coaching vacancy. While candidates such as Brent Brennan, Troy Taylor and Tony White were discussed, it was Foster.

Foster has spent all but one of his years as a coach at UCLA. The former star running back of the Bruins spent seven seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers (2002-07) and San Francisco 49ers (2008) before getting into coaching in 2013. He first came back to UCLA as a student assistant before being a graduate assistant in 2014 and 2015. Foster then went to Texas Tech, but only briefly.

He returned to Westwood in 2017 as part of Jim Mora's staff as the running backs coach. Foster was retained by Kelly when he took over the operation. Despite being in an awful spot and in a real state of flux, UCLA opted to promote one of their own from within. The Bruins players could not be happier about it. I think this is the right move for UCLA to make, but we have a full college season ahead of us.

Here are the UCLA football players getting hyped up to see a familiar face as their new head coach.

UCLA is joining the Big Ten along with Oregon, USC and Washington next college football season.

UCLA reacts favorably to DeShaun Foster's big promotion to head coach

Right now, UCLA needed an easy win, and the Bruins got that by promoting Foster from within. This is the second program of note in the Los Angeles market. One could argue that the Bruins were the most reluctant partner to leave the Pac-12 behind for the Big Ten when the opportunity first arose. Although I thought UCLA was in a better position to transition than USC previously, I might be wrong.

Overall, not every promotion from within hits the same. It is usually somewhat of a temporary solution to a much larger problem, one that can only be rectified with an honest and thorough coaching search. But when that promotion from within happens to be at your alma mater, that hits differently. In a weird way, I like this hire way more than I do Oregon State promoting Trent Bray from within earlier.

Going with Foster comes across as a sign of strength and unity, as opposed to hoping for continuity by clinging onto one's past. If Foster feels empowered to recruit like Kelly never showed under any circumstances, then UCLA might too find success in its new league. A ground-centric offense in a league that has long been defined by it isn't the worst thing in the world. I really don't hate this move.

Let's just hope this doesn't end up like the Zach Arnett experiment did over at Mississippi State...

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