Home College Football Coach DeShaun Foster Revives Back That Nostalgic Bruin Spirit

Coach DeShaun Foster Revives Back That Nostalgic Bruin Spirit

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Photo Credit: Antoine Belote

Los Angeles, CA—Just before UCLA players engaged in intense competition and physical clashes on the field, there was a joyous revival of a cherished Bruins tradition. Clad in white sweatpants and hoodies emblazoned with the Bruins emblem, the players arrived at the Rose Bowl amidst cheers and camera flashes from family and friends lining their path.

Coach DeShaun Foster, sporting a distinctive blue sweatsuit, took a moment to engage with fans before entering the stadium. With UCLA hosting its first Bruin Walk since the Jim Mora era and staging its inaugural spring showcase at the Rose Bowl since 2015, the atmosphere buzzed with excitement. Defensive lineman Jay Toia expressed the sentiment shared by many: “Coach Foster has L.A. behind us again, so it feels great.”

A crowd of 11,703, significantly larger than previous turnouts, witnessed the UCLA offense triumph over the defense, marking a reversal of fortunes from the dominance the defense had shown during spring practices. Quarterback Ethan Garbers showcased his late-spring resurgence, forming a formidable connection with wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, who missed the previous season. The offensive line underwent adjustments to enhance versatility, a strategic move by Foster in anticipation of potential reinforcements from the transfer portal.

Photo Credit: Antoine Belote

“It was easier for them to score points in my score system,” Foster said with a chuckle of the offense, “but the defense did a great job all spring.”

Amidst the on-field action, a heartwarming moment unfolded as young Joshua Perry, a liver transplant recipient from UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, scored a memorable touchdown, symbolizing resilience and community spirit. The daylong celebration also welcomed notable alumni and football luminaries, adding to the festive atmosphere.

For Jay Toia, the spring showcase marked the culmination of a whirlwind week, reaffirming his commitment to UCLA amidst the buzz surrounding the NFL draft. The shift in culture under Coach Foster’s leadership was palpable, resonating with fans and players alike, who eagerly embraced the renewed energy and sense of unity.

As the showcase concluded, the echoes of enthusiasm lingered, with fans staying behind for autographs and the Victory Bell ringing in celebration. Jay Toia summed up the sentiment succinctly:

“Coach Foster brings this new type of energy. Everyone’s excited, it’s like L.A. is Bruin fans again.”