UCLA’s Tevin McDonald dismissed from Bruins prior to Spring practices

UCLA Bruins safety Tevin McDonald (7) before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at the Rose Bowl. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA Bruins safety Tevin McDonald (7) before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at the Rose Bowl. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA coach Jim Mora’s third-leading tackler in 2012, safety Tevin McDonald, has been dismissed from the team. The timing is not opportune for a program hoping to improve upon a nine-win season, as the Bruins open Spring practices in a mere few days’ time.

McDonald, in just his sophomore season, started every game of the 2012 season save for the final contest of the year. After finishing the team’s regular season and Pac-12 championship game loss to Stanford with 74 tackles and an interception, McDonald was held out of UCLA’s Holiday Bowl loss to Baylor.

According to CBS Sports, McDonald was suspended last year following a failed drug test. Further, it is believed coach Mora decided to cut ties with the 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Fresno, Calif. following more issues of the same nature.

Mora’s program will also be opening up camp without linebacker Todd Golper and wide receivers Ricky Marvray and Jerry Rice Jr. All three have graduated but have a year of eligibility remaining. However, Mora wanted to clear up room on the roster for some new faces.

Thus, all three may explore transferring and playing immediately as graduate students. Marvray caught just three passes for 18 yards last season after undergoing back surgery, while Rice Jr., a former walk-on, had just nine career receptions. Golper did not record a tackle in 2012.

Mora shocked the college football world in leading UCLA to the aforementioned nine wins in 2012. He is working to build a winning program that can be sustained for a decade or more, and he is already looking tough enough to get the negative influences out of his locker room.

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