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UCLA REPORT

He's One, and Only, for Bruins

September 06, 2002|Steve Henson

Colorado State has 36 players from California. UCLA has one from Colorado.

The relatives and friends of Jon Dubravac scattered around the Rocky Mountains will be glued to televisions, discreetly rooting for the Bruins, or at least for one particular receiver coming off a back injury that sidelined him all last season.

Dubravac was all-state at Mullen High in Denver, making 111 catches and getting scholarship offers from Colorado and Colorado State. He followed his cousin, Joe Dubravac, to UCLA and has been a perennial honor student and dependable possession receiver.

"When I was in high school, Colorado State was just beginning to become a strong program," he said. "Colorado was the powerhouse."

Growing up, he attended the games of both schools. So seeing them on this season's UCLA schedule (Colorado visits UCLA on Sept. 21 for a 12:30 p.m. game) excited him, especially because he is injury-free.

"It's very cool," he said.

"People at home will have a chance to see me play on TV, to see I'm still alive."

*

Nobody calls them the Orange Crush. That moniker was adopted by the Denver Bronco defense during the 1970s.

But the Colorado State defensive line has a decidedly Orange tint--three members have ties to Orange County.

Senior end Peter Hogan, from Newport Harbor High, has seven sacks the last two seasons. Junior end Andre Sommersell, from Fountain Valley, is a speed rusher who had two sacks and a blocked punt last season. Junior nose tackle Bryan Save, who lives in Santa Ana, started the last four games of the 2001 season and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Brigham Young.

Patrick Goodpaster and Lavell Mann, who share time at defensive tackle, grew up not far from each other. Goodpaster, a sophomore, is from Harbor City and attended Narbonne High. Mann, a junior, went to Lakewood High and Long Beach City College.

*

Freshman safety Eric McNeal, one of UCLA's most highly touted recruits, was expected to play immediately. But he probably will redshirt after injuring his hip in practice this week.

"He was going to play on special teams," Coach Bob Toledo said. "Now it's cloudy because of the injury."

*

UCLA has beefed up security for home games. The only containers allowed into the Rose Bowl are purses, diaper bags and sealed water containers.

All items will be searched, and fans might be subject to full searches of their person. Gates to the stadium open two hours before kickoff.

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