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2013 UCLA Football Fall Practices: Day 9 PM Notes - Mora Talks, Vanderdoes Excels, and Attack on the Drone

News and Notes from UCLA Football's Fall training camp in San Bernardino

Nail that drone, Brett!
Nail that drone, Brett!

Friday Night was the second half of the final double session of practice in the Inland Empire, and the second to last public practice before the season starts in two weeks time. Some notes from the practice, as well as Coach Mora's comments after the morning session.

First off, here is Mora's presser from after Friday's early session:

With Jeff Locke in Minnesota, special teams were bound to be an issue this summer. But during his presser, Mora reminded us that the upheaval is more than just breaking in a new punter. Kevin McDermott has also graduated and begun his attempt to find an NFL home, requiring the staff to break in a new long snapper, as well as a replacement to take over Locke's holding duties.

The long snappers still have work to do, but it sounds pretty certain that Jerry Neuheisel will be holding for Kai'ami Fairbairn this fall. There are still a bunch of guys that the coaches are thinking of to return kicks, and Mora frankly does sound as concerned about that battle as what is happening elsewhere with the special teams.

Mora talked about how Eddie Vanderdoes slotted into practice in the morning. Eddie continued to turn heads in the evening session. Per Jack Wang:

Still working his way back from a tight back, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive end commanded regular double teams — quickly backing up his ranking as the No. 21 recruit in the country. Even when going up against starting offensive linemen Caleb Benenoch and Torian White, Vanderdoes more than held his own.

Chris Foster's practice report seems focused on the AM session, but still focuses on Eddie's strong drive showing up on the practice field. Edward Lewis kept it simple on the Bruin Sports Report twitter feed:

IEAngel was at practice, and posted a bunch of notes and observations in the Friday open thread. Both IE and Wang noted how well Devin Fuller looked on Friday, and here are a few other of IE's observations:

  • Jordon James looks like the best RB today. Peeled off a big TD run in team and had a few catches in space.
  • Hundley has gone out of his way to slide several times. Looks infinitely better than last year.
  • Don’t be surprised if Ahmaad Harris gets a couple touches this year. He’s tiny but runs nice routes and gets space.
  • Jayon Brown did outplay the other slot corners. Two breakups.

Mora has sounded impressed by Jayon Brown throughout Fall Camp, giving indications that the true freshman from Long Beach Poly will open the season as the Nickel DB, jumping the four elite DB's in this year's recruiting class in earning early playing time and a defined role. On the two biggest - and fiercest competitors in San Berdoo:

  • Most physical corner is easily Ishmael. Has exactly the mindset a corner needs.
  • Shaq Evans is an NFL wideout next year. He’s got the size and ball skills. Just needs to get faster.

On the injury front: Simon Goines was dressed and in pads last night, but was held out of practice. Ellis McCarthy injured his ankle during practice; no word yet on the severity of that injury.

At the start of the evening, Brett Hundley had a little fun at the expense of Coach Mora's new toy:

Before practice started, quarterback Brett Hundley tried to drill a fast-moving camera drone from at least 40 yards away. As teammates and coaches formed an eager audience, he missed the target by just two or three feet. Even got plenty and oohs and aahs out of the crowd.

The Bruins will hold their final practice at San Bernardino - and their last public practice of the Summer - this morning at 10:30am, followed by a meet and greet for the fans that make it out to the Inland Empire.

Go Bruins!