UCLA center Sam Marrazzo embodies the improved offensive line’s mentality

UCLA start center Sam Marrazzo is one of the key figures in a line of attack that has been one of the biggest surprises for the Bruins football team, which averages an estimated 228 meters.

The running bout helps UCLA average 37 points per game, despite dropping to 1-2 after last weekend’s 38-35 loss to No. 11 Oregon.

UCLA will have the chance to go back to .500 in Saturday’s game against scoreless Arizona (0-2) at 5:00 PM in the Rose Bowl.

While running backs like Demetrius Felton and Brittain Brown get a lot of credit for an offense that seems to do what it wants, the key to everything has been the Bruins’ renewed line of attack.

The Bruins’ offensive line had a lot of gaps to fill, but they’ve done a good job of rotating players and their communication seems to be on point.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly is certainly satisfied, especially with the push they get up front.

“I really think our attack is playing very well at the moment,” Kelly said during a conference call. “I think Sam Marrazzo, I don’t know if he’s getting enough credit. He did a really good job in the center for us. He starts everything with identification and really gets us all on the same page.

“I think communication with that group up front has been really good. We’ve rotated a few guys on guard, and they all play really well. ”

That’s a lot of credit for Marrazzo, a junior red shirt from Aliso Niguel High who came to UCLA as a walk-on and only got a scholarship this season.

And while Marrazzo loves his big role on the team and the praise of his coach, he pointed to a conversation he had with Joshua Kelley, the former Bruin walk-on running back who is now with the Los Angeles Chargers.

“One thing I actually talked about with Josh Kelley when I got a scholarship, and right before the spring ball started this year, was keeping that walk-on mentality,” said Marrazzo. “Nothing has really changed for me. I’m still working here, and that’s what Josh really said. Never lose that chip on your shoulder, that mindset, because being a starter is great, but don’t think you’ve gained weight or anything. You have to keep working. ”

And do the work he has. Marrazzo is tasked with making many decisions on the fly, and he enjoys that role given to him by offensive line coach Justin Frye.

“I like to insult things,” said Marrazzo. “I trust everyone, but I like to be the guy who really does it and gives the fit and gets the points and all that. The main thing I have to keep working on is being correct every time. Coach Frye always says: “Don’t look for things, let them present itself to you.” ”

Marrazzo said there are many reasons why the Bruins’ offensive line plays so well, but a lot comes down to personal responsibility.

“It trusts your back and the guys next to you,” Marrazzo said. “But also saying: ‘My husband is not going to play’ is the mentality you should have. You can talk about technique, you can talk about a schedule, but at the end of the day it boils down to not letting your guy tackle it.

“Like I said, Felton, Brittain and all those guys are great to block because they set up our blocks, so we just have to stay on them and they make a cut and they go to the races.”

While Marrazzo is a former walk-on, he also realizes that the Bruins’ line of attack isn’t full of blue-chip recruits, so it’s the hard hat mentality they need to adopt, and they won’t put a limit on what she can reach.

“We can be as good as we allow ourselves to be,” said Marrazzo. Coach Frye says we are skilled enough and talented enough to go out and make plays that need to be made. We just have to go out and put ourselves in a position to make them. As we grow and communicate more and become more cohesive, we can be as good as we want to be. ”

TEXAS A&M TRANSFER COMB BROWN COMMITS

Kam Brown, a redshirt freshman starting receiver for Texas A&M who entered the transfer portal last week after playing six games for the Aggies this season, announced on his social media account that he was moving to UCLA.

Brown, who hit five catches for 55 yards for the Aggies this season and played his last game against South Carolina on Nov. 7, is a former four-star recruit from Texas. He originally committed to UCLA when he was a sophomore in 2017 during former coach Jim Mora ‘s final season.

Brown dismantled from the Bruins after Coach Kelly arrived with several new assistants. He signed with Texas A&M, where he also played three games as a true freshman.

If Brown arrives in time for next season, he will still be eligible for the Bruins for four more years.

Brown is the son of former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown, whose fame was named the Super Bowl XXX MVP in the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995. He was the first cornerback to become an MVP after joining. appointed. with two interceptions.