— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) June 17, 2013
UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr will be high on some NFL draft boards next spring. The Bruin coaching staff, seeking to capitalize, declared itself Linebacker U on twitter. It’s not quite as bad as the University of Chicago appointing itself the nation’s top party school. But it is still pretty bad.
The traditional “Linebacker U” schools trump it. UCLA has produced the same number of 1st round linebackers (2) as Penn State since 1980. The comparisons end there. Penn State has produced more than twice as many top three round picks (15) as UCLA (7). Their track record doesn’t compare to Miami (14 in 1st-3rd, 5 in 1st), Ohio State (12, 5) or Alabama (11, 7).
However, to entirely disprove the premise, one need not leave UCLA’s 20 mile radius. Crosstown rival USC has had 15 linebackers chosen in the first three rounds since 1980. Nine of those were chosen in the first round. Six of those were chosen in the Top 10. UCLA can push forward Ken Norton Jr. USC can counter with Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews and Lofa Tatupu, just from 2005 onward.
It’s hard to see Lane Kiffin not retorting to this “SC-style,” which, under him, will mean taking it too far, to the point where it becomes petty and uncomfortable.