July 18, 2006

UCLA defensive ends looking good

The defensive end position for Bruins was also infected with the injury bug when UCLA's best pass rusher Nikola Dragovic saw his season end with a knee injury. Dragovic was having an outstanding season when he fell and the front four was never quite the same with his departure.

A good portion of the pass rush went down with Dragovic, but he is expected to return and if he stays healthy his presence will help create heat on the passer. Dragovic's pressure in the OU game was instrumental in achieving that huge out-of-conference upset win.

Senior defensive end Justin Hickman became a pretty good pass rusher in his own right and improved a lot in 2005. He really came on as the season progressed and did some nice things during the spring. He is looking to put it all together in 2006 and have a breakout year.

Look for junior Bruce Davis to be in the rotation especially on passing downs. He was another guy who put heat on the passer. He had a very strong spring camp and now weighs 250-pounds. Davis also has versatility as he played some linebacker last season. Like Hickman, Davis, could have a breakout year.

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