Prized linebacker recruit Mique Juarez is back with UCLA. However, he never the team in the first place, this according to Bruins’ coach Jim Mora.
According to Bruin Report Online via Twitter, Jim Mora went on the local airwaves and stated that Juarez is back with the team and that there are no issues, as some have speculated.
“He never left the team,” Mora said on local radio. “(Juarez) was just excused for a few days.”
#UCLA coach Jim Mora says on local radio that Mique Juarez is back with team. "He never left the team, was just excused for a few days."
— Bruin Report Online (@BruinReport) August 15, 2016
After missing two consecutive practices over the weekend, some Bruin fans were holding their breath thinking that something was amiss.
According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, when pressed on the issue, Mora kept answering questions about Juarez’s availability by simply stating, “He’s got an excused absence from us.”
Juarez had composed a series of cryptic tweets in recent days, including: “There’s things I can control & and it’s definitely my time to take control of things I’ve wanted to stop” and “Can’t control my life. Smh.”
UCLA returns three starting linebackers from last season with Jayon Brown, Kenny Young and Deon Hollins. The team has such good depth at the position that it was able to move Hollins to the defensive line.
Juarez, a 6’2”, 231-pound linebacker from Torrance, California (North High School) was rated as a 5-star recruit in the 2016 class according to 247Sports. The site ranked him as the No. 11 overall prospect in the 2016 class and the best outside linebacker in the country. 247Sports also regarded Juarez as the best football player in the rich-recruit state of California.
Although he is just a freshman, Juarez is still aiming to play a key role in the Bruins’ defense. He enrolled early to give the defensive unit a huge lift and he could be primed for huge things.