UCLA’s trip to Sun Bowl is full-circle moment for Ed Stansbury
EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For the last eight years, Ed Stansbury has worked as an analyst on KTSM’s 9 Overtime during the high school football season.
Before that, Stansbury was a five-star high school prospect, then played football for the UCLA bruins and then in the NFL.
With 18th-ranked UCLA in town to play Pitt in the 89th Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on Friday at noon, this week is full circle for Stansbury and reunites him with one of his favorite teammates.
When the Bruins arrived in El Paso for the Sun Bowl on Monday, Stansbury and his family were the first people there to greet them.
“I’ve tried my best to be an ambassador for both UCLA and El Paso, so to bring those together and have UCLA in the Sun Bowl, it means everything to me,” he said.
A fullback at UCLA from 1997-2001, Stansbury still keeps close tabs on the program, traveling to at least one game every season.
However, this week is truly special; it’s the 22nd anniversary of Stansbury playing in the Sun Bowl in his hometown, back in the year 2000. UCLA lost a classic, 21-20, to Wisconsin that day, but it’s one of his favorite memories as an athlete.
“I remember having over 200 tickets that I got from teammates whose families couldn’t make the trip,” Stansbury said. “Coming back home and playing in the Sun Bowl, running out on that field with my parents in the stands was really special.”
As UCLA returns to El Paso to play Pitt on Friday, there’s more that ties Stansbury to the current program. The running back he blocked for at UCLA – former NFL star DeShaun Foster – is now the Bruins’ running backs coach.
“He’s been a great coach. It’s been really fun seeing him now out there doing his thing,” said Stansbury.
After a successful playing career, Foster has been the Bruins’ running backs coach since 2017. He’s in charge of the nation’s fourth-best rushing attack featuring future NFL player Zach Charbonnet.
“DeShaun’s experience not only as an unbelievable player at UCLA but in the NFL, the way he can impart that wisdom on our running backs, since I’ve been here our running backs have been one of the strengths of our football team and a lot of that has to do with DeShaun,” said UCLA head coach Chip Kelly.
Foster was inducted into the Bruins’ Hall of Fame in October, with Stansbury in attendance. During his acceptance speech, he made sure to give his fullback a shoutout.
“One thing I’ve always loved about DeShaun is that he’s always mentioned me when it comes to his success. His success was my success,” said Stansbury.
Teammates until the very end, Stansbury will watch Foster and the Bruins face Pitt in the 89th Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl at noon on Friday.
He will also serve as a guest speaker during the UCLA alumni tailgate party at Glory Field across from the stadium prior to kickoff. There’s a chance that he could be an honorary captain, too, though Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas wasn’t sure of that as of Wednesday night.