UCLA Bruins: DeShaun Foster’s Impact After One Week On The Job

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hard to believe it has only been a week since DeShaun Foster’s emotionally charged introductory press conference as the new face of UCLA Bruins football, but the 44-year-old first-time CEO has already made three mighty strides in reenergizing Westwood’s sleeping giant program.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at UCLA Bruins
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Spring Game

Foster announced UCLA would play its spring game at the Rose Bowl open to all, accompanied by a fan appreciation day. This is a paradigm shift from the “Spring Showcase” authored by Chip Kelly at the Wasserman Football Center, where the term “showcase” was a bold euphemism for players simply indulging in basic drills. The opportunity for fans, boosters, alumni, and sponsors to participate in a no-kidding exhibition game, worthy of a global brand such as UCLA, will only fortify the desperately needed football engagement heading into fall.

NCAA Football: Colorado at UCLA
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UCLA Bruins Student Section

In response to Foster’s freshly inclusive approach, the UCLA Athletic Department announced that the student section will move from the end zone corner to immediately behind the visitor’s sideline in the proximity of the 50-yard line. Allowing students to have a greater platform and impact on stadium energy, home-field intensity, and playing outcomes will make the 26.2-mile trip from campus to Pasadena a much more worthwhile endeavor. Witnessing the pageantry, band, and rituals at the scale of U-C-L-A will be a sight to behold and foster memories of the Rose Bowl rocking in the 80s and 90s.

NCAA Football: UCLA Head Coach DeShaun Foster Introductory Press Conference
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Name, Image & Likeness

This is probably where Dr. DRE has made his greatest week-long impression. Foster met with the Men of Westwood and participated in an outreach video that helped inspire $76,000 of successful NIL matching campaigns while also promoting UCLA’s new NIL Store, consisting of customized jerseys of every Bruin athlete, on social media. This newly vibrant infusion has already compelled several former players to get re-connected with the program as mentors, investors, and ambassadors. 

Maybe Rome wasn’t built in a week, but DeShaun Foster is challenging if UCLA football can be.