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Spaudling Roundup: Double Header Days, Roster Moves & Other UCLA Football Notes

Let's pick up on A's post below on "double header days" this Spring when you will have the opportunity to check out both spring football and our baseball team on the same day. I wish I had all this information back when we were students because I would have done everything I could do to check out both teams on the same day. Given all the excitement around football right now and the red hot start by our baseball team, it seems like a no brainer.

I really hope the Den and other students on campus self organize the flood these practices/games to gin up even more excitement and they are more than welcome to use this community as an organizing tool to get the word out. It looks like the UCLA athletics blog - "What's Bruin"" - took the cue from A's post and published information on spring practice and baseball games (along with other athletic events). That is a good start but they need to ramp up their marketing efforts around these two programs even more.

Speaking of football Jon Gold recently sat down with CRN. His piece is not up yet but he teased some nuggets on his blog:

* He's very excited about Kevin Prince's offseason progression
* He said Datone Jones will not move to defensive tackle
* Nik Abele will get the first look at left tackle, though he anticipates Micah Kia's return in the fall
* Jayson Allmond will get first go at fullback with Tobi Umodu at No. 2, and Derrick Coleman at running back. Neuheisel did say, though, Coleman might be used in a Chane Moline-type role
* He's very anxious to see the progression of some players behind on the depth chart, such as Dalton Hilliard, Ricky Marvray and Jerry Johnson.

The fullback situation is intriguing. I am excited to find out what Allmond can do at that spot. In terms of size he is a total beast at 6-0, 266. Apparently he was just crushing at times with the scout team this past season. It will be interesting how he handles more opportunity as a red shirt freshman this spring. We also have to keep an eye on not only the blocking abilities of Allmond and Umodu but also how serviceable they can be in catching short passes out of the backfield. Chow liked doing that with Moline.

The Moline mention brings me up to Coleman. I think Coleman has the size of being a FB but honestly haven't seen enough aggression from him on the field. I still have nightmares of those goal line plays against Oregon when Coleman just meakly fell backwards in two consecutive plays. It is interesting to me that someone of his size (6-0, 235) should have the power and momentum to always fall forward when he gets hit at the LOS. However, it seems like the opposite has taken place last two years. Should be interesting to see how he has progressed this season. If Coleman improves his blocking and pass catching abilities this year, he could turn out to be the most dynamic hybrid option at FB where coaches can package with him with a combination of Jet Ski, Knox, Thigpen or one of the two frosh coming in.

Elsewhere, the OC Register is running a series on 10 players to watch this spring. Since we just looked at the DBs, thought I share the observations on Aaron Hester:

Hester is the Bruins' best cornerback on paper and has been that for stretches on the practice field, making him the favorite to land one of the two starting jobs. He will have to regain the coaches' trust, however, as he's been criticized for grabbing and other bad habits. The Bruins are still unproven at cornerback and will likely take a hard look at the incoming freshman in the fall if Hester doesn't have his act together by then.

Hmm. Don't care much for Adam Maya's passive voice of hurling criticisms towards Hester without attributing it to anyone from UCLA staff. Hester is unproven but I am not sure where the heck is Maya (a Trogan with a record of shoddy reporting when it comes to UCLA) getting information that Hester has had a problem with "grabbing" and "other bad habits." I'd be interested in hearing on this from others here who might have had a chance to check out lot of practices in person in last two years.

The guy we are also going to keep a close eye on this spring is Stanley Hasiak. If you want an idea on this kid's athletic ability here is a video from the summer before his senior year in high school (more than a year ago) at a Trogan recruiting camp:

Pretty impressive stuff. I think one of the guys appearing in that video was none other than Cassius Marsh but I am not completely sure. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Hasiak can regain the trust of his position coaches and can emerge as a solid team-mate this spring. We can definitely use his abilities in the trenches.

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