UCLA Football held their penultimate spring practice and final practice at Spaulding Field for a while yesterday morning.
Inside UCLA's Jack Wang has an article which wraps up the last day of Spring Practice at Spaulding Field. He looks at the progression of Asiantii Woulard this spring. He also gives some props to Jaleel Wadood. He writes that "Wadood probably should have gotten praise earlier this spring...." He also writes about how exciting it is to watch Myles Jack in one-on-one drills and that Jack has been practicing as a kick returner in each of the last three practices. He concludes by discussing the depth on the offensive line and mentions that the one area where the line has been thin is at center behind Jake. He thinks that Scott Quessenberry will probably provide some depth there when he recovers from his offseason surgery.
Taking a look at what the Orange County Register is saying, I have to give Joey Kaufman some props. There are four separate articles about the team that were posted after yesterday's practice. In his first article, Kaufman profiles Jerry Neuheisel extensively. He discusses Jerry's growth from a young kid whose dad was a coach to how he arrived at his decision to stay at UCLA after Rick was fired.
Kaufman writes about what Rick told Jerry:
They fired me, they didn’t fire you. You still need to be a UCLA quarterback. This is where you belong.
The article finishes up by coming full circle. Jerry says:
I promised my grandpa. My grandpa’s got my dad’s Rose Bowl jersey in his house and his Rose Bowl watch. He told me I owe him a watch and a jersey, so I gotta come through for him.
Here's hoping Jerry comes through for Grandpa Neuheisel.
His second article looks at Josh Rosen in light of yesterday being the first day Rosen and other newcomers were allowed to speak with the media. Althougn most of what Kaufman discusses can be seen from Rosen firsthand in the video below.
The third article recaps practice itself. All four QBs got reps yesterday. He does mention that Rosen looked shakier than usual, completing only 3 of 9 passes.
Finally, Kaufman introduces the new Voice of the Bruins, Bill Roth, who was at practice yesterday and spoke with the media afterwards. The full video is below. Kaufman quotes Roth, explaining his style:
I like our broadcast to be warm and comfortable. I always say that, as broadcasters, we could learn a lot from airline pilots. When you get on an airplane, you don't really know who your pilot is or what his background is. But if he's got a warm, comfortable voice, you're going to have a good flight, or at least you think you are. I think, when you look at broadcasters who have stayed places for a long time, the fans relate to them, because it's a comfortable listen. That's what I try to do. I want to have a real comfortable broadcast that's friendly, that's informative, that's very exciting for the fans. But very fair and balanced as well.
Last, but not least, Chris Foster of the LA Times writes about Josh Rosen's first media session. He writes that, while Rosen struggled early in practice yesterday, he finishes up strong. Foster writes: "He wound up completing 11 of 17 passes, including seven of the last 10." Hmmm....sounds like someone missed 8 passes tracking down a bunch of other stories (and it wasn't Chris Foster). Or, maybe they don't teach counting past ten at Southern Cal? LOL
Sorry, I couldn't resist. Let's get back to the topic at hand.
It was the first day that new Bruins were allowed to meet with the media, including the quarterback everyone has been waiting to hear from: Josh Rosen. Josh Woods, Zach Bateman and Nate Meadors also spoke with the media after practice.
Thanks to Edward Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for providing the videos of the team's newest players.
Josh Rosen spoke about the differences between being in college versus high school and the fact that he plans to major in Economics. Rosen sounds more like an experienced quarterback rather than a true freshman. He spoke about how the first week of class he was about 5 minutes late to every class because he didn't anticipate how long it would take to walk across campus and he discussed how the other guys on the team have been very welcoming to him since he arrived. He thought he would get yelled at more because he was used to that from his high school practices.
Meanwhile, LB Josh Woods said that it's been a crazy experience because most kids his age aren't even seniors yet. His hardest transitions have been the speed [of practice] and not being the biggest guy out there. He said that Coach Mora "really helps you understand."
Zach Bateman spoke about bouncing around at multiple positions and learning a lot. He was asked about Coach Klemm not being at practice during the Spring but he didn't miss a beat in talking about how great the coaching staff is and he gave credit to "Coach" Jake Brendel as well.
CB Nate Meadors is the last of the early enrollee who spoke after practice. Like the others, he spoke about the transition from high school to college and learning from his teammates. He said the thing he's learned about most is earthquakes. He had a midterm exam on earthquakes after practice yesterday. He does expect to see playing time in the Fall and said that was a key factor in his decision to enroll early.
Our final video today comes courtesy of Jack Wang of Inside UCLA. He has video of the newest addition to the Bruin family Sportscaster Bill Roth. Bill said, "UCLA is one of the most iconic places in all of college sports." He added that he watched or listened to every UCLA Basketball game this past season "just in case". He noted that he likes his broadcasts to be "warm and comfortable" like an airline pilot. "It was going to take a really special place for me to leave Virginia Tech...This was the only place I would consider leaving for." He was also impressed by the size of Myles Jack after having watched him play in the Sun Bowl versus Virginia Tech.
All in all, it truly sounds like Bill is a consummate professional and we look forward to listening to him for many years to come.
To wrap up, we have some quick notes and observations from our own uclaluv who was at practice yesterday.
- Sharp is great at getting away from coverage.
- Andrews can outrun coverage.
- Walker had some great catches.
- Lasley also made a really good catch or two as did Sweet.
- Craig Lee looked fast, made good cuts, and long runs. He got a couple of pats on the back from DeShaun Foster.
- Myles and Iese were going at it. Twice Myles either stopped the catch or took it away from Nate. The take-away was the biggest roar of the day from the players. That's two strong dudes going at it.
- Moreau, Rios and Ish were great in close coverage (although Moreau holds a lot).
- Rosen looked the best. People around were talking about what a great ball he throws, his quick release, and his ability to throw on the run. He leads the guys coming out of the backfield with his passes nicely so they don't have to break their momentum.
- Jayon Brown made some great plays out there.
- Johnnie Johnson and Devin Fuller had an epic battle for a catch that Fuller won.
- Tom Bradley seemed to have a really long talk with Mora where Mora really just listened. Mora looked like the student.
Hmmm...Treat Coach Bradley like Yoda, Jim does.....
The Spring Showcase is tomorrow at 10am at the Rose Bowl and should last around an hour and half. For those who can't make it to Pasadena, it will air on the Pac-12 Networks live and will also repeat a few times on Sunday as well. There will be an autograph session following. And, oh yeah, if you are coming out to the Rose Bowl, come meet up with your fellow members of Bruins Nation at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles at 8am. For more info on breakfast, check out the BN Breakfast article.