The ninth session of Spring Football Practice is going to begin around 1:00 pm PST on Spaulding Field. As we have done with the first seven sessions, we are putting up an open thread. If anyone is heading out to Spaulding, please fire away with your thoughts on what you have seen, whether it'd be a few words while you are at the field or after getting home or to the dorms later this afternoon.
Meanwhile, I think it is worth taking note of couple of stories related to UCLA football. First, has been fanshotted already by cdpham. Still it's so comically predictable that we should also feature in on the frontpage. After getting ridiculed for his epic "what's wrong with Spaulding" comment, Dan Guerrero came out this week spouting bureaucratic BS about improving UCLA's pathetic practice field:
UCLA will put new synthetic turf and natural grass fields on Spaulding Field, the football team's practice facility.
The project is roughly estimated to cost $1.2 million and could begin as soon as spring practice ends May 5 and be completed before practice resumes in August.
"We're looking at the feasibility of doing it immediately after spring ball," Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said. "If that doesn't work within the confines of the [University of California's] bidding process, then we will do it immediately after the season."
Further improvements to Spaulding Field will be considered in the future, which could include a football team house. The turf is the only plan at the moment but Guerrero said, "We will investigate the feasibility of making other improvements to the facility."
Both the natural and synthetic fields will remain 80 yards long.
LOL. There is not much to say beyond the initial reactions of this community in the comment thread. If UCLA really serious about improving it's football program and giving Jim Mora what he needs to be successful, it needs to have a new AD, not an incompetent one making a fool out of himself in the LA Times.
Also, on football related note - the Manfro Mania is rolls on in Westwood. This time Peter Yoon gets into the action:
"He's got speed, he's got quickness, he's got explosiveness, he's elusive, he can anticipate where guys are in space and maneuver his body," Mora said. "He just seems to be internally driven to be an outstanding player and therefore every day he comes out here and he just does something really impressive."
And the more he does so, the more he has gained the attention of the defense. Linebackers, linemen and safeties are always talking to Manfro after he leaves trails of them in his wake. Coaches are also getting in on the act after watching Manfro shred their schemes in the film room.
"All the defensive coaches are always giving me stuff," Manfro said. "They're saying 'the White Mamba ain't got nothing on me.' "
Looks like the White Mamba still has some convincing to do.
I am excited about the hype, but going to wait till the games this Fall. But - that doesn't mean you all shouldn't be checking out practice. Get out there and let us know what you are seeing at Chianti's field of dreams. This is your spring practice open thread.