Your UCLA Bruins are gearing up for a formidable challenge, less than 24 hours away from their first Pac-12 matchup, and it won’t be a cakewalk. This time, they hit the road to face off against the defending Pac-12 champions, the Utah Utes.
The Bruins understand that nothing worth achieving ever comes easy, and that’s precisely the mindset they carry into this showdown. Tomorrow’s battle will demand nothing short of stellar performances from their star players, and among those they’ll be relying on is sophomore wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant.
Sturdivant’s role transcends mere team victory; it also marks a pivotal juncture in his journey towards NFL Draft recognition. In fact, he’s garnered recognition as one of the top 10 players who could significantly bolster their stock in the upcoming NFL Draft. Despite the relatively limited opportunities he’s had in the first three games, Sturdivant has demonstrated remarkable prowess, amassing an impressive nine receptions for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Sturdivant transferred to UCLA after leading Cal with 65 catches last season. He’s now UCLA’s top weapon for five-star freshman QB Dante Moore. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Sturdivant has nine catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns through three games. In the Bruins’ Week 1 win over Coastal Carolina, he had five catches for 136 yards, including 62-yard touchdown catch.
“He’s good and has been trending up,” an NFL scouting source said. “I think he’s now in that Day 2 category.”
Yet, the path to NFL scouts’ hearts demands much more, and Sturdivant appears poised to rise to the occasion. His arsenal of skills includes the ability to carve out space over the middle of the field with his elongated arms and a catch radius that’s nothing short of impressive. Moreover, his athleticism shines through with rapid acceleration and a knack for playing with both speed and explosiveness. It was no coincidence that Sturdivant made the switch to UCLA from Cal, aiming to be part of Chip Kelly’s explosive offensive scheme—a move that positions him favorably for the title of one of the premier wide receivers when the time is right.
The moment of reckoning could be upon us as early as tomorrow’s clash. The anticipation is palpable as we eagerly await how Sturdivant, alongside the rest of the Bruins, responds to this challenge on the road.