Coach Mora's post-practice interview (via Youtube/UCLA)
The Bruins headed back from their two weeks of
rest and relaxation isolation and video bombing in San Bernardino to come home to Westwood on Saturday. The team held a lengthy practice on a resurfaced Spaulding Field, before appearing at the "Meet the Bruins" event, though I think the most significant event of the day was the appearance of Nick Ekbatani to watch the team practice.
Nick's presence on Saturday is a pretty big deal; while he was around Spaulding on Saturday, a couple of players were away. Dalton Hiliard left Westwood just before practice started with a family emergency, while Aaron Hester was not feeling well. Dalton's situation doesn't sound too serious, and Coach Mora reiterated his trust and support of him during the post-practice presser. Greg Capella, Jeff Baca and Alberto Cid were at practice but unable to participate.
Miguel Melendez shared some observations on practice in his Daily News column...
Jordan Zumwalt spent most of Saturday kicking butt from the outside, but did slide over to inside 'backer a little bit.
Goines saw some time at right tackle with the second unit and looked much better than on his first day back a few days ago in San Bernardino, where he could barely keep his balance during stretching drills...
Ceachir looked solid at right guard, too. He played next to Goines with the second unit.
...True freshman Aaron Porter had some reps at inside linebacker with the first unit as well, and newly converted cornerback Fabian Moreau, a former wide receiver, had a good showing donning the white jersey. He returned a Richard Brehaut interception for a touchdown.
Yes, the practice fields were resurfaced and replaced while the team was in San Bernardino. As Coach Mora put it: "It's soft," he said. "It's flat. There's no undulations in it. It's beautiful. I think the guys really appreciate it." And as AHMB noted on Friday, there was a new offensive lineman ready to hit that turf. Coach Mora talked a bit about Jacob Seydel after practice - including Adrian Klemm's prior history recruiting him and that he had been recruited to some degree by Rick Neuheisel's staff prior to ending up going the JC route.
"One of the things we talked about all camp is the need to build depth on our offensive line and this was an opportunity to do that so we took advantage of it," coach Jim Mora said. "We have scholarships available and he’s a guy that’s worthy."
... "He’s athletic, he’s got good size," Mora said. "He’s got good hands, good feet, good toughness. He’s a smart kid."
Yoon also noted from the presser that Jacob might see some time at tackle, but is expected to focus his time at guard. While he prepares to join the rest of the Bruins over the next couple of days, some of his linemates were able to return to practice on Saturday - Miguel Melendez noted that Simon Goines and Alexandru Ceachir were back at practice.
The Bruins have a double session of practice today - with the team heading to Spaulding Field this morning at 8:30, and again at 7:30pm. Both sessions will be open to the public as always.