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Former UCLA player, coach Ray Nagel dies

Former UCLA player Ray Nagel has died, according to the University of Iowa. He was 87.

Nagel was the head coach at Utah (1958-65) and Iowa (1966-70), but his college career began at UCLA. He played for the Bruins from 1946-49. He threw for 969 yards in 1948 and shifted to tailback in 1949, Red Sanders’ first season as coach. Nagel gained 84 yards rushing and threw for 230 yards that season. He also had a team-high three interceptions as a defensive back.

After finishing his playing career at UCLA, Nagel stayed on as the freshman team’s coach. He was a varsity assistant in 1951 and 1952. He had a 58-71-3 record.

Nagel played for the Chicago Cardinals in 1953. He also served as athletic director at Washington State and Hawaii, as well as being the executive vice president of the Rams and executive director of the Hula Bowl.

He was inducted into the National Assn. of Collegiate Directors of Athletics hall of fame in 2006.

Follow Chris Foster on Twitter @cfosterlatimes

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Three UCLA players among top 4 picks in women's soccer draft

Three UCLA players were taken in the first four picks of Friday's National Women's Soccer League draft.

University of Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian was the top overall selection, going to the Houston Dash. But Bruin midfielder Sarah Killion went to New Jersey's Sky Blue FC with the No. 2 pick while teammates Abigail Dahlkemper, a defender, and Samantha Mewis, a midfielder, both went to the Western New York Flash with the next two picks.

Brian, a two-time winner of the Hermann Trophy -- college soccer's version of football's Heisman award -- is in camp with the U.S. women's national team as is Mewis, an All-American and winner of the Honda award.

A day earlier UCLA midfielder Leo Stolz, winner of the men's Hermann Trophy, was drafted by the New York Red Bulls with the 18th pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Three other players from Southern California colleges were also selected: UC Riverside defender Otis Earle went to FC Dallas with the 15th pick while Cal State Northridge...

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UCLA defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy bolts to NFL

Ellis McCarthy, a reserve defensive lineman for UCLA, declared for the NFL draft.

McCarthy made the surprising announcement on Twitter on Tuesday evening. He spent three seasons at UCLA, during which he battled weight problems and knee injuries.

He has had arthroscopic surgery on both knees.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound McCarthy was a backup nose tackle who also played defensive end at times. He had 21 tackles and three sacks this season.

Follow Chris Foster on Twitter @cfosterlatimes

 

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UCLA cracks top 10 in final Associated Press poll

UCLA finished in the top 10 in the final Associated Press poll, its highest ranking since 1998.

The Bruins finished a 10-3 season with a 40-35 victory over 11th-ranked Kansas State in the Valero Alamo Bowl and were rewarded with the No. 10 spot in the poll. The Bruins finished eighth in 1998 after losing their last two games.

UCLA was ranked No. 7 in the AP’s pre-season poll. This is the 17th time the Bruins have finished in the top 10,  but only the third since 1988. They have never finished as the AP’s national champion, but finished second in 1954. UCLA was named national champion by UPI that season.

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Brett Hundley ranks high on UCLA coordinator Noel Mazzone's list

The last word -- possibly -- on quarterback Brett Hundley’s career at UCLA comes from offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.

Mazzone, who tutored Hundley the last three seasons, has an impressive resume of quarterbacks. The list starts with the San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers, who Mazzone coached at North Carolina State in 2003, and includes the Denver Broncos' Brock Osweiler and the Carolina Panthers’ Derek Anderson.

Mazzone declined to state where Hundley sits on his list, but he did say that, “throwing all the numbers out, which he has about every record at this school, he is probably one of the only ones who had to grow up in conjunction with the rest of the guys on offense. I’ve had some good quarterbacks come in, but they had a senior offensive line, a senior running. They had some maturity around, which makes it easier for them.”

As for who was the best he has coached, Mazzone said, “Probably Rivers. I was lucky to have him for one year.”

Hundley said that under Mazzone he...

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Linebacker Zach Whitley withdraws from UCLA

UCLA linebacker Zach Whitley has withdrawn from the university and is expected to transfer.

Whitley was one of the top high school linebackers in the nation a year ago. Whitley appeared in nine games for the Bruins, making one tackle. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound defender has not practiced with the team since November.

Whitley enrolled in UCLA in January 2014.

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