Spaulding Roundup: Spring Spectacular and Count On Me

Stephen Dunn

The Bruins get ready for their final week of Spring Practice with a Saturday morning session at Spaulding Field, after which Coach Mora shared more details about next weekend's Spring Game and introduced his family's charitable foundation.

The Bruins had a fairly uneventful practice this morning. According to reports, the team continued its focus on situational work, maybe to a greater degree than earlier in the week. Keep in mind that uneventful is not necessarily a bad thing; in a welcome change from earlier in the week, Coach Mora sounded enthusiastic about the players' approach and performance.

In his post-practice talk with the media, Mora went on to talk about some of the individual performances on Spaulding Field, as well as next weekend's "Spring Spectacular".


(Video via YouTube.com/UCLA)

  • Simon Goines cramped up a bit with some soreness in his back, but was simply a matter of soreness that he needs to work through rather than an injury. Mora noted that he needs to stay healthy and learn how to work through that sort of discomfort in order to stay on the field, sharing the expectation that some of the incoming freshmen O-Linemen have a legit shot at starting this fall. Coach Klemm has expressed the same feeling, telling Jack Wang that he expects two of the incoming freshmen to earn starting spots.
  • Torian White is having a great spring.
  • Keenan Graham is doing well at defensive end, after the coaches reversed last year's decision to move him to linebacker and elsewhere. His explosiveness works well on the outside, which is more of his natural
  • Taylor Legase is gaining praise with his work this spring at the hybrid "mini-backer" position, after the original plan of playing Stan McKay at that position was torpedoed by the lack of depth in the defensive backfield. Taylor understands coverages, and has the athletic ability to get to receivers near the line.
  • In a move showing complete indifference for freesia's feelings, Brett Hundley has decided to stay off social media for the duration of Spring Practice. Brett has gotten a few teammates to join him in his sabbatical, with mixed success.

In addition, he shared further details on next weekend's spring game, which has been rechristened as the "Spring Spectacular"! Due to the injuries and resulting depth issues that have plagued the team throughout the spring, the planned 100 play scrimmage has been cut down to roughly 60 plays, following a series of situational drills on the Rose Bowl field.

There will also be a contest at halftime of the scrimmage, with fans being picked from the crowd to compete for prizes including autographed gear, game tickets and (maybe...) traveling to a road game on the team charter. Between that, an on-field autograph session after the scrimmage and fireworks to end the evening, it sounds like an awesome Saturday for all of you lucky enough to be in Southern California.

Coach Mora has set a goal of getting 50,000 to show up at the Rose Bowl on Saturday Night for the Spectacular. He is certainly doing his best to draw in Bruins and their families, and I hope those of you in the southland can help reach it.

After today's practice, Shannon Mora joined her husband Jim to officially announce the Southern California branch of their "Count on Me Family Foundation", the Mora family's foundation to support charities and organizations that work with disabled, disadvantaged and otherwise at-risk children. As Jack Wang described the scene:

Dozens of kids were also out at Saturday’s UCLA football practice as part of the launch, which was adorable to see. A little girl even got Anthony Barr to autograph a picture of him ending Matt Barkley’s USC career.


(Video via YouTube.com/UCLA)

Count On Me originally grew out of the family's community work in Atlanta while Jim coached the Falcons, and later expanded to Seattle when he joined the Seahawks organization. As we have previously noted, Shannon and Jim have been laying the groundwork over the past several months leading up to today's official unveiling.

Best of luck to the Mora's and to the foundation, and GO BRUINS!

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