UCLA's defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich has officially stepped down and is expected to join the staff of the Atlanta Falcons. Four-star linebacker Roquan Smith delayed sending his letter of intent to UCLA last Wednesday after learning about this possibility. Smith is currently deciding whether to attend college at Georgia, Texas A&M, Michigan, or UCLA. His high school coach Larry Harold said Smith would take "a week or so" to decide on Thursday. Today, Harold drew attention to the deception of college coaching staffs in asking assistants to wait until after National Signing Day before changing jobs. This quote from Harold to the Atlanta Journal Constitution illustrates the problem for players and coaches.
"So how can these guys (college coaches) talk about the people and the relationships — and then you get these kids signed and then you bail on them at the first time you get the opportunity," Harold asked. "You can’t tell me that these head coaches aren’t telling these assistants that they know are leaving – don’t tell anybody until after signing day and then we’ll announce it. That’s deception and that dishonesty. And, most importantly, it’s not fair to the kids."
What's next for Roquan Smith?
It is unclear whether UCLA will name a replacement for Ulbrich before Smith makes his decision. UCLA may be an unlikely landing spot at this point with the diminished trust and lack of defensive coordinator. Texas A&M seems like an ideal situation for Smith given the stability at defensive coordinator with new hire John Chavis and the depth chart at linebacker. We should find out soon.