FanPost

04/03/10 UCLA Spring Practice Observations

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

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Bruin LBs (from left): Steve Sloan (43), Glenn Love (20), Isaiah Bowen (58) and Mike Schmitt, Photo Credit: E. Corpuz

Meant to post this sooner but ran into technical difficulties.  It was a gorgeous day with a surprisingly good crowd on hand at Spaulding.  However, a bit of somber news which others have already posted regarding Brandon Sermons.  I didn't see what happened but I could tell his injury was serious since he never got back up.  Hoping for a speedy recovery for Sermons. 

JDub, Petros (yes he is a sucster but he's alright in my book considering he is objective in his assessments of Bush and Leinert) and Dietrich were in attendance.  A handful of recruits were there but I couldn't tell who was who.  Chatted with a guy who said that Jalen Grimble (cousin of Xavier Grimble) and Junior Pomee were at practice on Friday. 

Take my observations with a grain of salt considering I'm an Armchair QB and we've only been through 3 practices thus far.  Was able to take a few photos but I'm still having technical difficulties. 

  • Prince looks all of 230 lbs and he seemed to have an air of confidence in going about his business.  He is still a work in progress (could be more accurate) but I'm encouraged because he made some really good throws.  I think it'd be wise for those that are expecting big things from Brehaut to temper their enthusiasm a bit.  He throws a beautiful ball but he has yet to master the offense.  There were multiple occassions wherein Brehaut held the ball too long.  He'll get there but we all have to remember that he is still a young pup that did not get to RS. As others have noted, if Brehaut can give Prince a run for his money so that Prince earns the starting nod, I think the program will be better off.  Hopefully, Crissman is servicable so that Brehaut can RS and we get some separation at QB.
  • "Revolver": Not sure to what extent but I think we'll see this being utilized this season. I saw the offense running multiple plays with Knox as the RB (just like the Wildcat). Prince and Brehaut kept the ball on multiple occassions which made me a bit queezy.  I know they're both athletic but I'd rather have my QB in the pocket and run only when absolutely necessary. 
  • Knox looked good weaving his way for yards and seemed to have elevated his game.  Both Franklin and Coleman looked solid.  Also, I didn't see JetSki put the pigskin on the turf a single time.  I really wanted to checkout Allmond (#36) and I'll tell you, this kid is BIG and physical.  I can see why both the Offensive and Defensive coaches were fighting over this kid. 
  • Josh Smith is the real deal.  He knows it and he plays like it.  He got loose a couple of times and he also has a physicality to him.  I don't know how much he'll play but Mavray is one to keep tabs on.  The kid is a competitor in every sense of the word.  He plays hard and there was at least one occassion where he played through the whistle resulting in a little tussle.  Johnson made a lot of plays and seems to have improved.  He doesn't look like he's running fast but he gets decent separation with his long strides.  Carroll is still a work in progress and I think we should temper our expectations as I saw him drop multiple passes.  The same goes for Morrell.  They both seem to be fighting it and do not seem to have the offense down cold.  Morrell got laid out on one play (run) that resulted in a bid of scolding/coaching by CRN.  Something to take note of, Thiggy got a lot of PT in the slot and was practicing predominately with the WR group. We have a lot of candidates (including the incoming FR) at RB so I think it's a good idea to take advantage of Thiggy's speed at WR and as an option all over the field.
  • It is in our best interest to have a capable option at LT whether it is Abele or Downey so that Baca stays at LG.  Baca is going to be All Pac something IMO.  He was physical and I saw him pancake Edison (I think) on one play.  Abele looks the part and has pretty good feet which he used to get in good position against the pass rush.   I can see why Palcic is so high on him and if he can put on another 10 lbs by fall, he should be in better position to compete physically.  Williams looked to be healthy as well which is good news.  Hasiak was rolling on the ground with someone but it was good to see him pat the defender on the helmet when they got back up instead of going all MMA on him.  Couldn't see much beyond this because my view was obscured by the players. 
  • I think Chandler has finally found a home and will hold his own.  I don't expect huge production from the get go but I can see him continuing to improve as he gets more comfortable.  He definitely looks the part and he seemed to hold the LOS quite well.  I was trying to see if Donovan Carter can give us something but I wasn't able to get a good view.  This goes for everybody, but the videos of our team getting bigger are accurate.  Graham looks to be about 250 lbs and Tepa & Holmes looked bigger to me as well. 
  • Sloan and Larimore were swithing off with the 1st team at Mike.  Larimore looks like a rugged Big 10 MLB and he looked physical out there.  Love was running with the 1st team quite a bit but nothing really stood out to me.  Bowens looks imposing out there and looked quite agile in the drills.  Golper looks pretty small compared to the other LB's and Koster looks a bit bigger than I anticipated. 
  • Our starters at CB will be Hester and Price IMO.  Price still looks skinny as hell to me but considering he is 6'2, he would probably have to get into the 210 range to see a noticable difference.  Hester looked like he is 100% and he is quite an imposing figure at CB.  Both our CB's are quite tall which I like.  CRam looks huge out there but I didn't notice him make any plays.  Hilliard looked good out there bringing the lumber and McKay had a nice pick as well.  Pollard and Mascarenas got some time but nothing really noticeable.  As noted before, we have a lot of depth and options in our secondary.  We're still pretty green but there is a noticeable upgrade in talent.
  • Locke was $$$ kicking those coffin corners.  I counted at least 3 punts that he kicked inside the 5.  Smith, Carroll and Mavray took turns catching/returning punts.  Nothing of note though.

Overall, the team came out with a lot of energy.  Rahim and Kia were both whooping it up getting the team fired up.  The team seemed to be excited putting on the pads which resulted in some physical collisions.  I'm going to try and make it out there a few more times and I'll try to observe as much as possible. 

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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