UCLA football: Receiver Devin Lucien matures into leader

UCLA football: Receiver Devin Lucien matures into leader
Although he is keeping his fiery personality in check, UCLA receiver Devin Lucien says, "I'm still that competitive guy." (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA receiver Devin Lucien is a mentor. No, really.

For those unwilling to accept change, that might be hard to grasp. But anyone who has talked with the junior wide receiver since last season knows that a light bulb has turned on and his future brightened.


Lucien has been audacious at times and moody in other moments. Yet, he can be seen these days whispering sweet somethings in receiver Eldridge Massington's ear.

"I know that all the eyes on me," Lucien said. "I try not to act out all the time. I try to be more mellow and cool and make sure everyone knows what they are doing."

Case in point: On Wednesday, UCLA cornerback Fabien Moreau was smothering some of the Bruins' young receivers.

"I took it upon myself to go on that side," Lucien said.

It was something he learned from former UCLA receiver Shaquelle Evans, now with the New York Jets.

"That's what he would have done last year," Lucien said.

The difference in Lucien has been noted.

"He has matured very much," receiver coach Eric Yarber said. "He's mentoring young kids right now and trying to lead on the field. He should mentor those guys like Shaq mentored to him."

As for that Type-A personality.

"I keep it in here," Lucien said, pointing to his chest. "I'm still that competitive guy."

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