Tom Bradley

UCLA sophomore Lokeni Toailoa earns respect —  and perhaps a starting role

UCLA sophomore Lokeni Toailoa earns respect —  and perhaps a starting role

UCLA linebackers coach Scott White has a mantra that his players might tire of hearing had it not helped a handful rise to prominence: Make it so we can’t leave you off the field.

It led to Jayon Brown becoming a starter and eventual team captain. Now it appears to be having a similar impact on Lokeni Toailoa, the sophomore who might be the Bruins’ new starting middle linebacker.

“Lokeni’s a guy that’s kind of ahead of his time here, he’s a guy that everybody respects,” White said Wednesday. “He made it hard for us to keep him off the field.”

His build also doesn’t hurt.

Standing 6 feet 2 and a sturdy 245 pounds,...

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