Spring practice is less than a month away now. We have had some news and notes related to football team trickling in last few days. Thought today would be a good to catch up with all of that. Dohn posted the following bit on how workouts have been going last week:
OL Jeff Baca looks great, and really does well in the weight room. A lot of the players have put on sizable pounds, but I am told it is the good kind of pounds. As an example, LB Donovan Carter is up to 255 pounds, and the staff is happy about it.
The freshmen are very vocal in the weight room and during drills. There is also a lot of fun competition taking place each day, but I will get into that more when the story comes out next week.
TE Logan Paulsen is also doing a great job from a leadership standpoint.
255lbs sounds pretty impressive for Donovan. IIRC he is up about 30lbs from this past season. If he can maintain his speed with that size, he could be a potent force.l
As usual the team is also dealing with some nagging injury issues:
When I was out during the conditioning drills, TE Morrell Pressley looked very good. He has the cast off his wrist and he should be ready for spring practice.
DB Tony Dye (wrist), FB Trevor Therior (knee) and OL Mike Harris (foot) were all working hard in the weight room and on the side, but are being brought along slowly because of their injuries.
Also, QB Nick Crissman (shoulder) did no throwing during any of the sessions I've been present at.
Good here Pres
sley seems ready to go. It will be interesting to see whether Crissman will see any substantive action this spring.
Speaking of QBs Dohn checked out some 7 on 7 offseason drill late last month in which Kevin Prince supposedly looked "terrific." Also taking part in those drills was center Kai Maiava, who might emerge as a key factor in Palcic and Chow's attempt to revive our desperate OL.
As for Kevin Prince, the OC Register for good reason dubs him the number 1 player to watch this spring:
WHY HE’S ONE TO WATCH: It wasn’t simply injuries that eventually led to Prince assuming the No. 2 spot on the depth chart a year ago. UCLA was hoping he might be its next quarterback. As in now. Although Prince was not ready to lead the team in 2008, he demonstrated in practice he is probably better than the person doing so. He simply didn’t play last year because it wasn’t worth it. He will have every opportunity this year in what can be considered a fairly wide open competition.
The Bruins have depth and experience at receiver, meaning Prince’s primary responsibility will be to get them the ball, not the other team. (See Kevin Craft.) If Prince knows the playbook and can remain confident in lieu of Coach Rick Neuheisel’s constructive criticism, one of Craft’s biggest strengths, the job might be his heading into summer.
You can check out the full list of UCLA players to watch which includes E.J. Woods, Milton Knox, Johnathan Franklin, and Dantone here.
Remember practice begins on April 2nd. You can check the full schedule here. We are hoping lot of you will be out there this spring (as the practices are open) and fill us in what should be one of the more exciting and crucial (in terms of QB competition) springs we have seen in Westwood for a long time.