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July 31, 2013

Going Camping: Linebackers

UCLA fall camp is just a few days away, and with that, BruinSportsReport.com continues its Going Camping preview with the linebackers.


2013 UCLA LINEBACKERS AT A GLANCE
PRE-CAMP DEPTH CHART
OLB

1. Anthony Barr - 6-5, 255, Senior

Six feet five, 255 pounds, 4.46 40-yard dash after leading the nation in sacks for a large portion of 2012. Is there really anything more to say here?


2. Kenny Orjioke - 6-4, 240, Sophomore

Another one of UCLA's physical specimens, Orjioke came on strong this spring, showing off a massive, chiseled frame. Still one of the youngest players on the team, if he eventually finds his ceiling, he could be an impact player for the Bruins soon.


ILB

1. Eric Kendricks - 6-0, 228, RS Junior

The Pac-12's leading tackler and one of UCLA's best leaders, Kendricks will be a pillar of the Bruins defense this season.


2. Ryan Hofmeister - 6-0, 222, RS Junior

Hofmeister had a solid spring filling in for injured ILBs, and will likely be the backup backer for both Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt.



ILB

1. Jordan Zumwalt - 6-4, 235, Senior

Like Kendricks and Barr, Zumwalt is another returning starter who should be a big-time producer for UCLA this season. He's a heavy hitter, he's athletic, and he's one of UCLA's best tacklers.


2. Aaron Porter - 6-0, 231, RS Freshman

Porter rebounded nicely from a lackluster true freshman season, and looks bigger, healthier and stronger. If he continues to show well, he should be the backup ILB here.


OLB

1. Aaron Wallace - 6-2, 240, RS Sophomore

Wallace sure made it hard on the rest of the backup OLBs to take this spot this summer. He had a really nice spring, showing some good skills in open space and coverage, and should be the penciled in starter to begin camp next week.


2. Myles Jack - 6-1, 225, Freshman

Jack is one of the three or four UCLA recruits coming in with the most hype. Jeff Ulbrich loves him, so does Jim Mora, and so does Barr.


BATTLE TO KEEP AN EYE ON
The outside linebacker spot opposite of Anthony Barr will be fun. Myles Jack is the young gun pushing for playing time, while Aaron Wallace is the veteran with experience on his side. Nobody's sleeping on the athletic Orjioke to make a run at the starter spot, and freshman Deon Hollins Jr. could also be a candidate here too.

PRESSURE IS ON...
All of the backup linebackers. UCLA brought in a stacked class in 2013. If players like Porter or Hofmeister or Isaiah Bowens or any other semi-veteran LB isn't performing well, they could find themselves looking up at a talented crop of freshmen LBs.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Most would say Myles Jack here, but Deon Hollins Jr. is the one we'll be watching. He's a bit forgotten, given he was UCLA's earliest commitment (that stuck), but he has a unique pass-rushing skillset that could be unrivaled on this team. He was unblockable at nearly every event he went to as a senior in high school, and if that carries over to the NCAA, he could be a sack artist for the Bruins as a true frosh.

POSITION MVP
Is this really a question? Barr is maybe a top five talent in the nation. He'll be a threat to lead the country in sacks, and he should be in the conversation for potential No. 1 overall picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.


Going Camping Review

-Quarterbacks
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Running backs
-Offensive line
-Receivers
-Defensive line



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