Despite changing the scheduled practice start from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Coach Mora and the UCLA faced another scorching day in San Berdoo. A day after six players left practice due to heat related symptoms, three more players left practice early with similar issues. Coach Mora didn't shy away from acknowledging the heat.
"No doubt this is a brutal environment. I don't want to discount that, but bottom line is we have to adjust to it because we have to play in it Aug. 30."
The fact that players are leaving practice with heat related symptoms is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as the players have been educated on recognizing symptoms early and working on proper hydration, the team will be able to acclimate to the heat. Coach Mora addressed the work of the medical staff with Peter Yoon.
"The doctors do an excellent job," Mora said. "They were a little overwhelmed, but we followed our protocol and it worked."
One thing Coach Mora clearly didn't appreciate was the some coddling of the players by the staff. Apparently some members of the coaching staff thought it would be a good idea to have an extended "popsicle break" mid-practice. Coach Mora clearly didn't appreciate the team not being ready to move at his tempo, and he took time to lay into the assistant coaches during the break.
Brett Hundley had another good day of practice. While he hasn't been named the starter, he seems to be pulling away from Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince. Coach Mora has taken notice and spoke glowingly of Hundley's performance, especially with regard to the two minute drills.
"He throws the ball well, he throws it with accuracy, he's making good decisions and he's got the X-factor which is his legs," Mora said after watching Hundley lead the offense to two touchdowns in the two-minute drill. "So often in those two-minute drills, things kind of break down. If you've got a quarterback that has some mobility and can keep his eyes downfield and remain a threat as a passer and hold the defense off, then that's a real advantage."
Speaking of quarterbacks with mobility, Devin Fuller got some reps at punt returner for the first time. Some of you may recall that Fuller played WR in the Army All-American game, and while he has said that he would prefer to play quarterback, he probably has a better shot at playing early at WR. He joined fellow freshmen Kenny Walker and Ahmad Harris, as well as Shaq Evans, Steven Manfro, Damien Thigpen, and Jordan James returning punts.
On the injury front, UCLA received some bad news that Patrick Larimore suffered a concussion on Monday and was held out of Tuesday's practice. He sustained a concussion towards the end of Spring Practice as well, and the staff will have to keep a close eye on him going forward. The three players that left practice with heat related symptoms were Jeff Baca, Cassius Marsh, and Brett Downey. Anthony Barr injured his hand or finger during practice, Joseph Fauria was somewhat limited to an unidentified hip issue, and Randall Goforth also stepped out of practice early. Malcolm Jones, Dalton Hilliard, Simon Goines, and Tre Hale did not practice.