A harrowing few hours for UCLA Thursday night, and a tentatively happy ending: According to ESPN Los Angeles, 2012 Bruin signee Lacy Westbrook is in stable condition after undergoing brain surgeryto repair an aneurysm. A spokesman at UC Irvine Medical Center said Westbrook, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle from nearby Compton, was admitted to the hospital earlier in the week after he collapsed while jogging. He's expected to make a full recovery.
Westbrook was rated as a borderline three-star/four-star prospect, depending on which recruiting site was doing the rating, and stuck with the hometown Bruins over offers from Auburn and Washington, among others. He's no stranger to the scalpel: The first half of his senior season at Dominguez High was claimed by a foot injury that required two surgeries. But an expedition inside the skull is an entirely different matter.
Even before this week's scare, Westbrook was expected to "grayshirt" at UCLA – that is, to delay full-time enrollment until after the upcoming season – as part of first-year coach Jim Mora's efforts to cut the roster down to size according to NCAA scholarship limits. (On this front, Mora is off to a truly Saban-esque start: Another incoming freshman, defensive end Eli Ankou, is also going the grayshirt route, and veterans Alex Mascarenas and Wade Yandall have been removed from the scholarship count as "medical retirements." Taking the hint, safety Anthony Thompson and linebacker Jared Koster opted to transfer.) Whenever he finally arrives, Westbrook will have all four years of eligibility remaining.
That is, if he's still cleared to play football by then. In the meantime, on behalf of your biggest fans, get well soon, kid.