So, the East Coast wasn't always great for Malcolm Bunche, whose playing time dwindled in 2013 for the Miami Hurricanes.
Now he's trying the West Coast.
Malcom is transferring to UCLA to play his final season at UCLA, his dad, Curtis Bunche, just told me.
Curtis Bunche said Malcolm will be playing tackle at UCLA, head coach Jim Mora and the other coaches told him, rather than guard. "Every single coach that contacted us lately said, ‘Are you kidding me, this kid with his measurables (6-7, 327 pounds) and his feet – he’s a tackle.'"
"I talked to Malcolm last night for quite a while and he was very impressed with his overall experience with the trip there to UCLA, the tour of the campus, his conversation with the head coach and offensive coordinator – and even more so his offensive line coach [Adrian Klemm]. He’s had several years of NFL experience as an O-lineman and has [three] Super Bowl rings [with the New England Patriots]."
UCLA was 10-3 this past season and beat Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl, 42-12.
"Malcolm talked about the overall concept under Jim Mora being basically an NFL concept, an NFL approach. He had some time with an academic advisor regarding his pursuit to get his Master’s degree. He was gone the entire weekend.
"His trip prior to UCLA was to Texas Tech on Friday during the day. He flew out Saturday to Los Angeles."
Curtis Bunche said Malcolm called the UCLA campus "breathtaking.''
Curtis said "there was no problem with his release at UM. Obviously UM tried to get him to stay. They went as far as calling his high school coach to ask him to get him to stay. You have to respect that.''
But in the end, Bunche obviously realized he played minimally in 2013, and with only one season of eligibility left, he felt he needed a better opportunity.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, a Heisman Trophy contender, completed 248 of 369 passes (67.2 percent) for 3,071 yards and 24 touchdowns, with 9 interceptions this past season. But he was sacked 35 times.
In contrast, the Hurricanes allowed 17 total sacks -- and that's including the four in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
"They need an O-lineman to protect that Heisman Trophy candidate's blind side,'' said Curtis Bunche of his son.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN