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For Starters, It's a Special Trip for Page

October 17, 2002|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

Like a lot of teenagers, Jarrad Page had something he wanted to achieve by his 18th birthday. But it wasn't landing his first job or owning a car -- he already rejected those opportunities.

Page's goal was to be in the playing rotation by the time UCLA visited California in a game that is a homecoming for him.

The freshman from San Leandro exceeded his expectations by becoming a starter at strong safety three weeks ago and will spend his birthday making tackles and covering California receivers.

"My goal was to be playing," he said. "Actually starting didn't seem real. All of a sudden, it's even better than I imagined."

Many of his friends imagined him in a baseball uniform. Page turned down a $700,000 signing bonus with the Milwaukee Brewers to attend UCLA, and several people closest to him did not agree with the decision.

They will be in the stands cheering for him Saturday.


Freshman walk-on quarterback Brian Callahan, the son of Oakland Raider Coach Bill Callahan, is another Bruin headed home this weekend, but he is not on the travel squad and must arrange his transportation.

Callahan will watch the UCLA game from the sideline and stay for the Raider game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. It will be the first Raider game he has attended this year.

"My dad and I talk every Sunday after his games and I went to every home game last year, so I'm anxious to see [the Raiders] play," he said.

Bill was offensive coordinator for four years under Jon Gruden before becoming head coach this season and his son spent countless hours in meetings with Rich Gannon and other Raider quarterbacks.

"I picked up a lot of little things," Callahan said.

The 5-foot-11 Callahan was a backup at perennial power Concord De La Salle High and was invited to walk on at UCLA after attending a quarterback camp last summer.


The two men Bruin cornerback Ricky Manning is accused of hitting are scheduled to testify at a preliminary hearing Nov. 22 in L.A. Superior Court. Manning has been charged with two counts of felony assault stemming from a fight at a Westwood bar in April.


UCLA is making a publicity push for Mike Seidman to win the Mackey Award, given each year to the nation's top tight end.

Seidman, a senior, has 21 catches for 365 yards and three touchdowns.

Entering the season, Trent Smith of Oklahoma was considered the leading candidate, but he has only 19 catches for 171 yards and one touchdown.

Nate Fikse, who leads the Pacific 10 Conference with a 44.1 punting average, is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award and Manning is a candidate for the Thorpe Award.


Coach Bob Toledo said safety Ben Emanuel (neck) probably will play Saturday but that running back Manuel White (hamstring) will not.

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