2015 Pac-12 Football Media Days: Center Jake Brendel coaches up UCLA offensive line
BURBANK, Calif. — The Bruins were without offensive line coach Adrian Klemm for spring practice after he was suspended for undisclosed NCAA violations, but the big uglies still got their fair share of coaching and leadership from one of their own.
For that, you can thank UCLA center Jake Brendel, who is entering his fifth season in Westwood and third as team captain. The ESPN Pac-12 Blog wrote about Brendel’s emergence as a quasi-acting offensive line coach during the spring (Klemm has since been reinstated).
“One moment, [Brendel] is instructing Conor McDermott after a one-on-one drill. The next, he’s demonstrating a hand technique to guard Alex Redmond. Then he’s chatting with Poasi Moala. There are no sedentary moments,” ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg wrote in April.
Spring practice wasn't his first rodeo. The redshirt senior who is on the watch lists for the Wuerffel Award (top community servant), Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) and Rimington Trophy (best center) has started all 39 games in which he has played over the last three years. He was ready to fill that leadership void.
“I’ve always been pretty involved in the coaching process because I’ve been an offensive lineman for nine years now,” Brendel said Thursday at 2015 Pac-12 Football Media Days. “Just bringing a different set of eyes to a situation can always be helpful.”
Head coach Jim Mora feels fortunate that he has a fourth season to coach him.
“Jake is very mature. He’s very passionate. He commands the respect of his teammates,” Mora said. “There was a lot heaped on his shoulders this spring and he responded very well.”