The UCLA Bruins secured a dominant 35-10 victory over the San Diego State University Aztecs on Saturday, maintaining their unblemished 2023 season record. With a 2-0 start to the season, the Bruins are forging ahead, but it appears they are not resting on their laurels just yet. The team is contemplating roster adjustments, particularly in the secondary, to fortify their overall performance.
Haley Sawyer, a prominent voice from The Los Angeles Daily News, shares this sentiment. Despite UCLA’s impressive stats, including five interceptions in their first two games (ranking third in the nation) and a remarkable 20 tackles for a loss in yardage (tied for fifth in the country), there are concerns about the defensive backs’ ability to defend against long-range passes.
Sawyer notes that wide receiver Jadyn Marshall, a towering figure at 6’1″, participated in drills with the cornerbacks during Tuesday morning’s practice session. He engaged in extensive discussions with the dedicated coach of the cornerback position, Kodi Whitfield. The possibility of Marshall making a transition to the defensive backfield is being seriously considered.
The upcoming clash with the North Carolina Central Eagles, who also boast an undefeated record, looms on the horizon for the Bruins. It remains to be seen whether these potential roster adjustments will come to fruition in time for this crucial matchup.
The UCLA Bruins’ performance thus far in the 2023 season has been nothing short of spectacular, with their defense leading the way in several statistical categories. Their prowess in snagging interceptions and disrupting opposing offenses with tackles for a loss is commendable. However, the challenge of thwarting long-range passes has raised eyebrows within the team.
Jadyn Marshall’s involvement in cornerback drills is a clear indication of the coaching staff’s willingness to explore new strategies to address this concern. Marshall, known for his agility and athleticism as a wide receiver, could bring a fresh perspective and skill set to the defensive backfield, potentially bolstering the team’s ability to defend against deep throws.
“I feel like in both games, we gave up a little too many deep balls,” defensive back Kamari Ramsey reflected, per Sawyer. “Sometimes it’s communication. Sometimes it’s technique. Someone’s got to get those, though. We’ve got to try and be perfect and try to get those.”
As the Bruins prepare to face the North Carolina Central Eagles, the coaching staff and fans alike will be eager to see if these proposed changes bear fruit. The decision to reshuffle the roster is not taken lightly, but it reflects the team’s commitment to continuous improvement and a determination to maintain their undefeated status.