defensive line coach Todd Howard said he sees a potential NFL prospect in Nate Chandl

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    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    UCLA football: The SPAs (Spring Practice Awards) — Defense
    May 5th, 2010, 7:00 am · 9 Comments · posted by Adam Maya, staff writer since 2006
    Welcome to the first annual officially unofficial UCLA spring practice awards. If nothing else, they make great footnotes for Wikipedia bios.

    Here’s who won what on defense: (Click here for offense.)

    MVP – Datone Jones
    The junior defensive end dominated the spring game and secretly might be UCLA’s best defensive player. Jones can also play inside and has a great motor for a D-lineman. Look for him to play at an all-conference level this season.

    Most Improved – Patrick Larimore
    Coach Rick Neuheisel pointed out the play of Larimore more often than anyone else this spring. The 6-3, 250-pound redshirt sophomore showed he has the toughness and talent to take over at middle linebacker for Reggie Carter. The only remaining question: Will he beat out Steve Sloan?

    Top Newcomer – Nate Chandler
    Defensive line coach Todd Howard said he sees a potential NFL prospect in Chandler, who seemed to already lock down a starting job for the fall. It makes you wonder how far along he’d be had he started at defensive tackle three years ago and not three weeks before spring practice. The 6-5, 290-pound Chandler brings an athletic skill set and humble, yet hungry attitude having barely played since arriving at UCLA in 2007.

    Best Ongoing Battle – Sloan vs. Larimore
    Sloan and Larimore are easily UCLA’s second- and third-best linebackers (behind Akeem Ayers). Since the coaches insist neither one of them is moving to the outside, this competition might continue into the season. Larimore has the higher ceiling but is less experienced than Sloan, who started nine games in 2008.

    LVP – Sean Westgate
    There’s no excuse for the two-year veteran not to have beaten out Glenn Love, who moved over from safety at the beginning of camp. The competition at weakside linebacker will remain open through the fall and might be won by an incoming freshman (or the No. 2 middle linebacker, despite what coaches say).

    More UCLA spring football posts:

    UCLA football: The SPAs (Spring Practice Awards) — Offense
    UCLA football: The SPAs (Spring Practice Awards) — Defense
    UCLA football: One Bruin's thoughts on the pistol
    UCLA football: The education of LB Glenn Love
    UCLA football: Who will start at MLB?
    UCLA football: Replacing Brian Price
    UCLA football: Prince's ‘frustrating' spring game
    Video: UCLA's pistol offense shoots blanks
    UCLA football: A ‘disappointing' spring game
    UCLA football: Spring game stat leaders

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