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July 14, 2003One of the biggest coups that the new Bruin coaching staff pulled off during last recruiting season was landing Maurice Drew (5-8, 195, 4.4) from Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. Getting Drew was huge for the Bruins on so many levels. Maybe most importantly he comes from a program that demands hard work and buying into the team concept. Drew is like the gold standard when it comes to putting the team before self.
BruinBlitz is starting our second pre-season look at the incoming Bruin freshmen and we were able to catch a few moments with Drew to get his thoughts on being a Bruin and what he is doing to get ready for the season.
"Part of the reason I chose UCLA was the coaching staff," Drew said. "I like (Head) Coach (Karl) Dorrell and my position Coach (Eric) Bieniemy. I liked the entire coaching staff and what they are trying to accomplish."
"Once I took my trip to UCLA," Drew said. "I liked the atmosphere at UCLA. It is close to the beach and the student body was great."
"The thing I liked about the coaching staff is they are trying to make the team realize it's about the team, not the individual," Drew said. "I'm working real hard to get myself ready for the season. I want to help the team anyway I can."
"I'm in Westwood right now working with Doc Kries," Drew said. "I am basically a Bruin right now."
"I'm just trying to gain the respect of the upperclassmen," Drew said. "Their respect is the most important thing for me."
What does that tell you about the kind of person this young man is? Drew isn't coming onto campus thinking he's the man. This young man knows the protocol and he respects the guys already on the team.
It seems like the whole Bruin team is buying into the total team concept. When Drew was out for spring, he stayed with Tyler Ebell and Ebell couldn't have been nicer in fact all the running backs were great to Drew.
Drew is taking the De La Salle work ethic with him to Westwood. "It is about pride," Drew said. "I'm going to take that pride with me to UCLA. Many times at De La Salle we went on the field with less talent but it was our pride that carried the day."
Today was Drew's real first day as a Bruin and now he is trying to get himself into shape for September 6th when the Bruins will take on the Buffaloes of Colorado in Boulder.
"I have earned a lot personal accolades," Drew said. "The thing I'm most proud of is the three straight high school national championships I was part of."
"I hope to win a couple at UCLA, too," Drew said. "We first have to beat Colorado and then take it game by game."
With the upperclassmen buying into the family and team concept first and with young men the caliber of Maurice Drew coming into the program the future looks very bright for UCLA.
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You better wear shades...