Five players who could decide the fate of UCLA’s football season

Five players who could decide the fate of UCLA’s football season

UCLA's Demetric Felton carries the ball against Stanford

Tailback Demetric Felton.

(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

Figuring out how to best deploy his top offensive playmaker could be one of Kelly’s greatest challenges this season.

Should he make Felton the replacement to Josh Kelley as the Bruins’ primary tailback? Have Felton operate mostly as a slot receiver? Move him all over the field?

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The third option might be best to maximize the redshirt senior’s speed and elusiveness. At 5-foot-9 and 186 pounds, Felton probably isn’t built to absorb the pounding of an every-down running back. When Felton tried to replace an injured Kelley last season against Cincinnati, the results were ho-hum: 71 yards in 23 carries for an average of 3.1 yards per carry.

But when he’s catching passes out of the backfield or the slot while mixing in the occasional run, Felton can be spectacular. His breakthrough performance against Washington State included a 94-yard touchdown catch and the game-winning score after he took a short pass and outmaneuvered defenders on his way into the end zone.

Don’t forget that Felton can also dazzle on special teams, his 100-yard kickoff return against the Cougars preceding the Bruins’ epic comeback.

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