UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, left, was named first-team All-American… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Linebacker Anthony Barr and offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo continue to gather postseason honors while UCLA prepares to play Virginia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Barr, a senior, was chosen first-team All-American by the Associated Press. Su'a-Filo, a junior, made the second team. What the two have meant to the Bruins beyond their in-game contributions could be seen and heard after practice Tuesday.
Su'a-Filo remained on the field an extra half an hour, working with freshmen linemen Caleb Benenoch and Kenny Lacy. Barr was praised loudly by freshman linebacker Myles Jack.
"Not having No. 11 to my right next year is going to be a new experience," Jack said. "I'm going to enjoy this last game from him. I have to cherish it."
Jack, who also plays running back, was chosen the Pac-12 Conference's offensive and defensive freshman of the year. But it was Barr, who was also selected to the Walter Camp and Sporting News All-American teams, who showed him the ropes.
"I'm learning everything from him," Jack said. "Pass rush, consistency, composure, he has it all. I'm just trying to suck up everything he can possibly give me before he moves on to the next level.
"I just learned something new from him today about flipping my hips when pass rushing. I have yet to get a sack. It would be nice to get one this last game."
Su'a-Filo will be missed if he chooses to make himself available for the NFL draft.
"He's a big help to me," offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said. "He inspires guys with the way he plays."
Su'a-Filo said he was grateful for the All-American recognition he received, but he saw room for improvement.
"I wish it could have been first team, that's the goal," he said.
Jack has done just about everything possible this season, including scoring seven rushing touchdowns. He has blocked a kick, intercepted a pass that clinched a UCLA victory over Utah, and recovered two fumbles. A sack has eluded him.
"It eats at me a little bit," Jack said. "Anthony is the guy who gets all the sacks. I can live with that."
Asked whether the seven rushing touchdowns eased that pain, Jack said, "I'd rather have seven sacks than seven touchdowns."
UCLA Coach Jim Mora said the only part of Texas he planned to visit in the near future is El Paso for the Sun Bowl. He said he would not be entering the Austin city limits, home to the University of Texas.
The Longhorns, of course, are looking for a new coach and Mora's name often is listed among the potential candidates. However, Mora said he had no interest in the job.
Texas officials have not contacted Mora or his representatives since Mack Brown resigned Saturday as the Longhorns' coach.
"It's all just rumors," Mora said. "It's flattering, and it says a lot about our program and the direction we're heading, but I am very, very, very, extremely, delightfully happy to be the head coach at UCLA. I want to be for a long, long time. I'm happy they want me here."
Eric Kendricks rests
Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who has dealt with a variety of injuries this season, did not practice. Kendricks had ankle surgery last summer, then back and shoulder injuries during the season.
Mora said Kendricks would play against Virginia Tech.