From Scotucla03: "Damien Thigpen's punt return for a TD....Don't think the coach had planned on the punt being returned that far. Anyhow, Thigpen breaks this to the outside and away he went. Cut back to avoid the punter and 6 points!"
Thanks again to everyone who has been sharing their notes from yesterday's practice. I know I have written countless times how much we all appreciate but I will keep repeating it. These are the kinds of posts (coming in all forms through short comments, pictures and detailed notes) that makes this community different from any other place online. It makes it all worth it. I wanted to flag the play of one particular kid in this post.
However, before I do that I want to make that point that we should keep yesterday's scrimmage in perspective and not get too high or low about the team. Sure it sounds like the DL headlined by Brian Prince dominated the first team OL yesterday. However, keep in mind coaches like Chow don't do any kind of game planning for this kind of scrimmages. Perhaps those who were at the scrimmage can share more on this point: I doubt the offense showed any kind of special packages such as reverse, draw plays, screen plays or misdiserection to throw the defense off guard. So, the defense pretty much had free reign to wreak havoc and blitz from all over the place. Again, that's what I am assume these scrimmages are generally like because I doubt Chow wants to give anything away to anyone who might have been there to scout for San Diego State or even Tennessse. Allright, now the point of this post: a kid named Thigpen.
The most exciting player at UCLA’s scrimmage was freshman running back Damien Thigpen, one of the fastest players on the team. He returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and had a 61-yard kickoff return.
It’s doubtful he’ll get to display those skills this season, as he will likely redshirt.
"You’d like to figure out ways for him to impact the game, but you want them to be a meaningful situation," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "You don’t want to waste a year eligibility to do little things."
The Bruins have an effective kick returner in senior Terrence Austin, who missed the scrimmage to be best man in a wedding.
Scotucla03 posted the picture of his 70 yard punt return, which I highlighted above. He also posted couple of really amazing shots that gives us a sense of what kind of athlete this kid is. Come with me after the jump to check them out.While everyone wrote about how fast Thigpen is, Scot's pictures (and commentary right underneath it) gives us an idea of what kind of football player this kid is.
There is number 25 "jumping through the hole." Apparently he managed to get another 5 yards after that contact. Love (2) had to make the tackle from behind.
Is your mouth watering the same way mine is, picturing this kid teaming up with Coleman, Franklin, Knox and other future UCLA RBs burning up the Rose Bowl in the coming years?