Brett Hundley is the best player on the UCLA football roster. But, football is a team game and it’s often the unsung heroes that win the battles for you and ultimately the war.
Two of the unsung heroes of the UCLA Bruins football team are Ishmael Adams and Paul Perkins. Both of these guys wear jersey number 24. In college football, schools have 85 scholarships to give out and most schools have a number of walk-on guys so it’s often necessary for 2 guys to wear the same number which is fine if they play on opposite sides of the ball and aren’t on the field at the same time.
Ishmael Adams is a starter at Cornerback for the Bruins’ defense. Adams had 4 interceptions in 2013, his first season to start. Not the biggest of players at 5-8, 185, he is still big enough to be an effective tackler and was one of the teams’ best last year. He was 7th on the team with 61 tackles.
Adams was a really good Cornerback last year, but what really made him stand out was his special teams play.
Adams took over the return duties part way through the year in 2013 and was outstanding.
He had 10 Kick Off returns good for 35 yards per return. Adams only had 2 punt returns, but he averaged 24.5 yards per return. He did not get the return job until late in the year so he did not put up huge numbers as a return guy with only 12 total returns. But, he showed enormous potential and should be a game breaker in the 2014 season.
Adams is a junior out of Woodland Hills, California but he has filed for another year of eligibility and may be granted another season.
Look for Adams to be a difference maker for the Bruins in 2014 on defense as well as on the special teams. He is a special player.
Paul Perkins is a 5-11, 200 Running Back from Queen Creek, Arizona.
Perkins was the second leading rusher on the UCLA team last year behind only Brett Hundley, with 573 yards and 6 TDs. Perkins also had 24 receptions good for 296 yards. Perkins is a smooth and shifty runner with lots of moves and quick feet.
Perkins was a work horse in the Oregon game running 22 times for 93 yards and again in the Utah game running for 92 yards on 16 carries.
But, what set Perkins apart from other Bruins Running Backs in the 2013 season was his potent blocking. Perkins is very adept at picking up the blitz so he was on the field often last season in a passing situation.
UCLA is expected to have a big season in 2014 and Brett Hundley is a Heisman Trophy long shot candidate. The Offensive Line should be improved and so should the Defense. The number 24s should play a big part if UCLA is going to make a run at any titles this season and both are exciting and fun to watch.