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UCLA looks to hire former Penn State assistant coach Tom Bradley

Tom Bradley is in line to become as UCLA’s defensive coordinator, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not allowed to comment on the matter.

Bradley's hire is awaiting approval from the University of California Board of Regents. He would replace Jeff Ulbrich, who left UCLA to become an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons.

Bradley was an assistant at Penn State from 1981 to 2011. He was named the Nittany Lions’ interim head coach in 2011 after Joe Paterno stepped down when scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky surfaced. Sandusky, a Penn State assistant from 1970 to 1999, was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Bradley was not retained as a coach when Bill O’Brien took over as Penn State’s coach in 2012. Bradley was hired as West Virginia’s senior associated head coach in charge of the defense a year ago. The Mountaineers gave up 33.3 points per game in 2013 and dropped to 27.6 under Bradley.

Penn State’s defenses...

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UCLA's Owamagbe Odighizuwa on the rise heading toward NFL draft

If there was one UCLA player who made a tremendous jump in the eyes of NFL scouts last season, it was defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa will get a chance to wow NFL teams some more Thursday at the NFL combine. He has already gone from little known to a player who could be drafted in the second round, maybe higher.

The rapid rise came after Odighizuwa missed the 2013 season after hip surgery. He had the presence at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, was one of the strongest players on the team and translated those attributes to the field in 2014.

He opened the season by deflecting a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Ishmael Adams against Virginia. He finished the season with three deflected passes and one sack against Kansas State in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Odighizuwa had 55 tackles and six sacks for the season.

“There are gray areas in sacks,” UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure said. “He was there a handful of other times. He certainly had a lot of hurries...

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Darrell Miller Jr. hits two-run home run to help UCLA improve to 4-0

There are high expectations for Darrell Miller Jr., a junior catcher at UCLA. His father was a major leaguer. His uncle Reggie spent 18 years in the NBA. His aunt Cheryl is a Hall of Famer for her contributions in women's basketball.

Miller is getting the chance to start this season for UCLA and he has begun to deliver. His two-run home run in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie and helped the Bruins defeat Cal State Northridge, 7-3, on Tuesday.

UCLA is off to a 4-0 start. The Matadors dropped to 4-1.

Bruins freshman Sean Bouchard added a two-run home run in the eighth.

Freshman Griffin Canning, who led Santa Margarita to a Southern Section Division 1 championship last season, pitched 4 1/3 innings in his first collegiate start for UCLA. He struck out six and walked one while giving up three runs.

Ty Moore continued his hot hitting for the Bruins with three hits. His batting average after four games is .529.

CSUN received three hits from Yusuke Akitoshi.

Twitter:@LATSondheimer

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UCLA football: Linebacker Roquan Smith picks Georgia

Roquan Smith, the prized linebacker from Macon County (Ga.) High, has decided to stay home and play at Georgia, bringing to a close a recruiting faux pas by UCLA.

Larry Harold, Smith’s high school coach, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Smith had signed grant-in-aid papers with Georgia.

Smith had said he would not sign a letter of intent with any school so he could retain control.

Smith said this week that he felt misled by UCLA coaches. He committed to the Bruins on national letter of intent signing day, citing defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich as a big reason. Smith refused to send his letter of intent after learning that Ulbrich would leave to join the Atlanta Falcons’ staff.

Follow Chris Foster on Twitter @cfosterlatimes

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Roquan Smith says Jeff Ulbrich told him he turned down Falcons job

Macon County (Ga.) High’s Roquan Smith said that Jeff Ulbrich told him that he had turned down a job offer from the Atlanta Falcons the day before national college football letter of intent signing day.

Smith told a Rivals.com website that Ulbrich reached out to him on Feb. 3, the day before signing day, and told him that “[New Falcons Coach] Dan Quinn had called him and he denied the job.”

Ulbrich officially stepped down as UCLA’s defensive coordinator on Sunday. Smith has said he won’t sign a letter of intent, but will announce what school he will attend on Friday.

Smith, one of the top high school linebackers in the nation, committed to UCLA on signing day but declined to submit his signed letter after Fox Sports reported that Ulbrich had taken a job with the Falcons. Ulbrich denied the report that day, saying that nothing had been agreed upon or signed. UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora supported that assertion.

Smith told UGAsports.com, a pro-Georgia Bulldogs website, that “UCLA coaches...

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UCLA football: Linebacker Roquan Smith won't sign with any school

Macon County (Ga.) football prospect Roquan Smith has decided to take a different path in his college football career. He will not sign a letter of intent, the Atlanta Constitution Journal reported.

Smith, one of the top high school linebackers in the nation, committed to UCLA but refused to send in his letter of intent after learning on signing day that Bruins’ defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich might not return. Ulbrich was hired by the Atlanta Falcons.

Instead of signing, Smith will commit to a school and enroll this summer, leaving him, “flexibility,” Larry Harold, his high school coach, told the Constitution Journal.

Smith is expected to choose between UCLA, Georgia, Texas A&M and Michigan. By not signing, he will be free to change his mind prior to enrolling.

Follow Chris Foster on Twitter @cfosterlatimes

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