No Quarterback Controversy- CRN can say whatever he wants and it's nice that there's a modicum of competition, but Kevin Prince is the UCLA quarterback:
Photo Credit: E. Corpuz
Prince is taking the majority of the snaps in practice and is the best looking QB out there. He even acts like the #1 out on the practice field, talking with receivers and runnings backs before and after plays to make sure everyone is on the same page. So long as he stays healthy, there's no doubt that #14 will be under center for the Bruins on September 5th.
Logan Paulsen- Paulsen has emerged as a definite leader for the Bruins. He spends a lot of time talking with the younger guys about where to go and what to do. When his group moves from drill to drill, he's always at the front of the group jogging over. Paulsen is a senior and he's acting like it.
Offensive Line- The offense and defense matched up the Oklahoma drill early on in practice and while the offense got beat, they were respectable. That's a huge improvement from practice last summer when the defensive line made the offensive line look like they were standing still. The offensive linemen still need to get stronger, but at least they're moving their feet and getting into the correct position now. Sean Sheller showed good feet and was surprisingly quick for a guy coming off surgery, while Nick Ekbatani showed much improved strength.
Second Cornerback- We know what we're going to get from Verner (and he was sensational today), but there's a major question as to what we'll do at the second cornerback spot. That spot is still up for grabs, but it looks like DC Chuck Bullough will have some good options. Aaron Hester was physical on the line and showed good recovery speed. Hester is the real deal and is probably the favorite to win the spot right now. If Hester doesn't get the job, Courtney Viney will get a chance. He is small, but he can run and was consistently in the right position. He did very well breaking on the undernearth routes.
Speed On the Outside- The speed at the wide receiver position is pretty good this year. Antwon Moutra ran down a number of deep balls that looked overthrown and was quicker getting in and out of his cuts than last year. Chris Forcier brings some good speed to the position and showed surprisingly quick feet off the line. Nelson Rosario can fly and can run by just about anyone. Terrence Austin can still run and the position should only get faster when Randall Carroll is introduced this summer.
Attitude- This team has a mean streak that it hasn't had in some time. During the Oklahoma drill players often kept going long after the whistle and had to be separated. The players don't just want to block a guy, they want to flatten him. They want to run through guys and they want to play physical. There's an energy at practice that gets guys excited. The players jump up and down cheering on teammates and are talking all practice long. This team is excited to get on the field every day.
Richard Brehaut- This is an admittedly harsh "bad." Brehaut didn't do anything wrong other than be a freshman. He was clearly befuddled by the offensive schemes and the defensive movement. Anybody who thinks that Brehaut will win the starting job needs to temper expectations. Brehaut has quick feet and throws the best deep ball of any QB on our roster, but at the end of the day he's still a freshman. Bring on the redshirt.
Morrell Presley- Yet another harsh "bad" because he's a freshman, but Presley needs to put on A LOT of weight. He can run and he can catch the ball, but he can't block at all because he just doesn't have the strength to do it. If you want to know what our plans are for Presley this year, consider that when they were doing drills, he was the only tight end to run his routes lined up like a receiver instead of a three point stance.
Defensive Line- When the d-line had to rush the passer, they were quick. They were getting up the field and blowing by guys. When they had to hold their position against the run, they were getting knocked back. The defensive line as a whole needs to get much stronger.
Second Safety- We have two holes in our defensive backfield. The second corner spot is one and looks good, but the second safety spot doesn't look nearly as good. Glenn Love is routinely out of position and doesn't have the elite speed to make up for it. Tony Dye still has the physical tools, but he's a step slow in the backfield and doesn't make his breaks quick enough. Someone is going to need to step forward here.
Kevin Craft- Helping Prince solidify the #1 spot is the poor play of Craft. Craft was arguably the worst QB out there today, worse than Brehaut and Rasshan. He was late getting the ball out of his hand and didn't put nearly enough air under his deep balls.
Backfield Blocking- I don't think the Bruin backfield threw a single good block all day. The backfield spent eight minutes working solely on blocking and were beat routinely. The offensive ine is much improved, but not close to outstanding so the backfield is going to need to step up their blocking.