Spring practice chugs along over at Spaulding Field. The excitement level is not as high as last season because folks here and elsewhere are sort of nervously waiting to see how the team performs next year. The camp this year so far has not been any different than what we have read in previous years. There are the usual scraps between offensive and defensive players, young guys stepping up, and coaches talking about holding everyone accountable. All of this will not matter if the Bruins do not produce on Saturdays this fall.
Still since we are all junkies for Bruin related news and information, we will keep sharing what we read and hear about the Bruins. Yesterday's practice featured a scuffle between Cassius Marsh and Joe Fauria:
UCLA defensive lineman Cassius Marsh and tight end Joe Fauria added some spark to an otherwise sleepy spring practice when the two got into an on-field altercation, resulting in Marsh stripping off his helmet and shoulder pads, throwing them to the ground and storming out of practice Monday at Spaulding field.
Marsh, a freshman, went to the UCLA locker room for about half an hour where former UCLA player and current FSN broadcaster James Washington and injured UCLA safety Dalton Hilliard calmed him down. He returned to the field and put his helmet and pads back on, but mostly sat on the sidelines.
"It's just the game of football is violent and your emotions can get worked up and you make mistakes and that's what happened," Marsh said. "I made a mistake."
No big deal except for Chris Foster, who always like making a big deal out of small things related to UCLA football. Foster wrote that Hasiak played the role of a peacemaker by restraining Marsh when he was going after Fauria.That will get some Bruin fans excited about Stan's maturity but note he has done it before only to lapse into other disciplinary problems. Hopefully it's different this time. And, a quick note on Fauria. Nice to hear he is scrapping out there. Let's hope he can sustain that intensity through next Fall.
There has been some depth chart related news. muircoach posted that both Marsh and Jordan Zumwalt were demoted in the defensive depth chart. May be the moves will motivate both those guys to work harder? We will see. It is something we wish Ben Howland had done to motivate two key starters from the hoops team this season.
The practice wasn't just about usual spring skirmishes. Jon Gold writes about two former Loyola Cubs - John Young and Anthony Barr - trying to make an impression this spring. Young, a TE is coming out of a redshirt season (when he sat out due to injury):
"I'm just a freshman out there trying to earn a spot," said Young, the No. 25-rated tight end in the country out of high school by Scout.com. "I'm not really coming in as a veteran at all.
"I just look at it as my time to learn. It's extremely important to show the coaches what I'm about, let them know I'm here for real. I'm not here to just get a jersey and be on the sidelines."
Barr has been getting some action at the F-Back spot:
Barr, situated in the murky quagmire that is the F-back position, had just nine catches for 66 yards and six carries for 29 yards as a freshman while playing all 12 games, with four starts. But it was his blocking and aggressiveness that drew raves.
He's now trying to prove his repertoire includes a big-play ability he displayed for Loyola.
"I would like that, just to be in position to make plays," Barr said. "Not even necessarily be a wide receiver, just be in the position to get the ball in space.
"Last year we focused on getting the run game going and we kind of faded away from the pass game, but this year with coach Johnson, we're going to have a good balance, and I'm looking forward to it.
We are looking forward to it too. How they "look" on Saturdays will determine how we feel about long term future of Rick Neuheisel's program after next season.