Jan. 18, 2002
Senior Bowl officials announced this week that six Bruins will be among 20 Pac-10 Conference players selected to participate in the January 26 contest to be played in Mobile, AL. The Bruin contingent will be the largest of any of the Pac-10 schools. No other conference school has more than three players set to play in the contest .
Linebacker Robert Thomas, the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 and one of three finalists for the Butkus Award, is joined by running back DeShaun Foster, defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman, defensive back Marques Anderson, defensive lineman Ken Kocher, and tight end Bryan Fletcher.
Thomas, a consensus first-team All-American who was also a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award, led the Bruins with a career-best 111 tackles. Twenty-six of his stops were for losses, breaking the UCLA single-season record of 22 set by Marvcus Patton, now of the Kansas City Chiefs. Thomas, a middle linebacker, led the Pac-10 in tackles (10.1 per game) and tackles for loss (2.36) and tied for sixth in quarterback sacks (0.64). His 41 career tackles for loss place him second on that school list behind only longtime NFL standout Carnell Lake (45.5). Thomas finished his career with 293 tackles to rank 12th on that list.
Foster, considered by many to be the top senior running back for the upcoming NFL draft, was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection by the league's coaches and a Sporting News All-American pick this past season. He ran for 1,109 yards, the tenth highest total in school history, in eight games. In addition, Foster became the quickest Bruin player to reach the 1,000-yard plateau, doing it in the seventh game of the season. He finished his Bruin career ranked third on the school career rushing list with a total of 3,194 yards and fifth in career scoring with 266 points. Foster averaged 136.8 yards rushing per game in 2001, topped by a school-record 301-yard, four-touchdown performance against Washington. He ended his career second on UCLA's career touchdown list with 44.
Coleman, a 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 selection at defensive end, finished the season with 44 tackles and led the Bruin team with 8.5 sacks. He ranked second on the team with 15 tackles for loss. In the Pac-10, he ranked third (tied) in sacks (0.82) and sixth in tackles for loss (1.36). His 34 career tackles for loss rank ninth on the all-time UCLA list, while his 15 recorded this season rank seventh (tied) on the school's season list.
Anderson, who played free safety last season, was one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, a fourth-team All-America selection and a second-team All-Pac-10 pick. He ranked second on the Bruin team in 2001 with 63 tackles and led the team with 10 pass defenses. Anderson was also credited with five tackles for loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. During his career at UCLA, he caused or recovered 14 opponent fumbles.
Kocher, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection, registered 19 tackles overall in 2001. He tied for sixth on the squad with six tackles for loss while playing a defensive tackle slot for the Bruins and starting in nine games.
Fletcher earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors from the league's coaches in 2001. He started all 11 games and made 11 receptions for 189 yards (17.2 yard per catch average) and one score. Fletcher was named the team's offensive winner for Best Leadership at the annual awards banquet.
For further information on the Senior Bowl All-Star football game, log on to www.seniorbowl.com. The game will be televised by ESPN.