Safety Randall Goforth is back on field and UCLA coaches are thrilled

Safety Randall Goforth is back on field and UCLA coaches are thrilled
UCLA safety Randall Goforth scores on a fumble return during a win over Virginia. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

There is a certain amount of giddiness from UCLA coaches about having safety Randall Goforth back on the field.

"Other players hear his voice and react to it," Coach Jim Mora said.


Said defensive coordinator Tom Bradley: "Randall exudes confidence from other players because he knows how to get everybody in the right spot."

Defensive back coach Demetrice Martin took that further, saying, "Randall brings a sense of calmness to the group."

These were things the Bruins were missing after Goforth was lost to shoulder injuries last season. He had surgery on both shoulders and has been limited to noncontact work this spring, but his presence has made a difference.

"It's the whole defensive team," Martin said. "I can pull his coattail and go, 'Bring the juice today, go get [linebacker] Myles Jack and the guys going.' Then it's on."

Goforth's talent was easy to recognize when he arrived at UCLA in 2012. He started five games as a freshman and all 13 games as a sophomore.

His shoulders had enough after one game last season. But the injuries brought benefits. Goforth became more in tune to the game as a spectator.

"Having football taken away from me opened my eyes," Goforth said. "This is my life."

Martin said Goforth's voice became an asset and improved his standing as a team leader.

"He got to look at the game through my eyes, a coach's eyes," Martin said. "They got positive results from things he said."

Goforth downplays his influence, but does admit that he has taken on more of a leadership role.

"I hang out all the guys off the field, pick everyone's brain," Goforth said. "We talk all the time, so when we do come out here, I know their tendencies and they know my tendencies. It's like playing with your brother. I just try to make sure our chemistry is on point."

Eric Kendricks, the Bruins' main voice on defense, is off to the NFL. Goforth will be looked on to fill that role.

"I always tease him, 'Randall you don't have time to celebrate, you got to get your eyes on me and get back into the game,' " Bradley said.

Jake Brendel fills in


Senior center Jake Brendel has assumed added responsibilities with offensive line coach Adrian Klemm suspended this spring.

"There is a certain way coach Klemm likes things done," Brendel said. "I just make sure try to keep the mentality the way it was when he is here."

But, Brendel said, "It's not like I'm the guy."

Defensive line coach Angus McClure, a former offensive line coach, has worked with the unit some this spring and has seen Brendel's value.

"It think Jake's experience has been huge for that offensive line," McClure said. "He has been the rock the last four years. He has a coach's mentality. He pushes the guys around him. They look up to him, so they respect him."

Klemm is under investigation for alleged NCAA violations. There is no timetable when, or if, he will return.

Quick hits

Mora brushed aside Jack working on kickoff returns Monday, saying he was just "messing around." The messing around continued when the Bruins did kickoff drills Wednesday. Jack and Ishmael Adams did the returns. … Josh Rosen, Jerry Neuheisel and Mike Fafaul handled the quarterback duties during team scrimmages Wednesday. Neuheisel looked the best, completing eight of nine passes. … Safety Jaleel Wadood was limited to individual work because of an undisclosed injury. … UCLA has hired Bill Roth as football and basketball play-by-play announcer. He spent the last 27 years doing both sports for Virginia Tech.