Good morning UCLA! Here are you Bruin Bites for this Friday morning.
With the heat having a cumulative effect on our Bruins, the coaches decided it was a good day to cut practice really short yesterday and hit the pool:
UCLA was dragging recently and desperately needed a day off, so Jim Mora called a pool day today. Only two days of practice left in SB.— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) August 14, 2014
In discussing the need for a day in the pool, Jack Wang put it in the context of what he saw in Wednesday evening's practice:
Many didn't take the field at all. The offensive line is without starting center Jake Brendel (MCL), reserves Scott Quessenberry and Carl Hulick. Guard Alex Redmond (heat exhaustion) and tackle Conor McDermott (shoulder) had missed several practices before returning Wednesday night.
Safety Randall Goforth and cornerback Marcus Rios were also absent. They had suffered a shoulder injury and a headache, respectively, earlier in camp.
Receiver Devin Lucien, briefly hospitalized on Tuesday after hitting his head, showed up to Wednesday night's practice but did not participate.
Ryan Kartje and Ed Lewis once again have The Cover Two Recap from day 9 of practice. In it they discuss Devin Lucien who "looks like he'll be back sooner rather than later" and other injuries. They also discuss the big position battles and believe the big three have been locked up: OLB, will be a rotation spot and probably Aaron Wallace is the #1, ILB, Kenny Young looks better than everyone, and at RG Najee Toran looks like the guy, in part because of his "attitude". The other position battle, for back-up qb is still up in the air and will go on for a couple of weeks. Their top four performers from Wednesday: Eddie Vanderdoes, who is showing progress, Jordan James who looks to be back in top form and is the best pass blocker amongst the RB's which will get him more time on the field, Myles Jack who is "so dominant and so good", and had the kind of interception "where your mouth hits the floor" and Jaleel Wadood, who has great "fluidity" and a "hitter's mentality" . You can see their entire recap below:
I suggest you also check out this video about the DB's that everyone has been raving about in camp from the official site (HT once again Bruinette88).
tWWL has been spending some time at UCLA and it looks the PAC-12 mascots have finally figured out that UCLA is the best place to be:
Great time shooting our @ATT #buildingbetter commercial w/ several team mascots at UCLA!! pic.twitter.com/EAAyb8sua5— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) August 13, 2014
Don't you dare stick that rubber sword in our beautiful grass!
In other UCLA football related news:
The NFL's CFB 24/7 is doing a count down the 20 best players in college football. Brett Hundley came in #13. About the ranking:
Our panel had no idea what to do with Hundley, which is surprising since he fits all the criteria for a top-10 talent: Heisman candidate on a potential title contender with NFL ability. Hundley was ranked as high as third by one of our panelists, received three top-10 votes, and went unranked by two of the seven voters. Definitely some regional bias detected.
Brett is going to have to make his case on the field, and I think he will.
The Press Enterprise has a nice article on "UCLA's Man in the Middle", starting nose-tackle Kenny Clark, in which Angus McClure and Kenny discuss the benefit of having wrestled in high school. Kenny also talks about his transition to college football last year and Coach McClure has great things to say about Kenny:
He's right up there with some of the best young players I've coached ... I've been fortunate to coach a handful of freshman All-Americans and I think Kenny should have gotten that award. Kenny's right up there with those guys, and a lot of those guys are now in the NFL. The sky is the limit for Kenny.
The Sun once again had some incredible photos from Wednesday's practice. If you haven't been keeping up with them, I highly recommend you check them out.
The New York Daily News, says people should keep an eye on Myles Jack when looking for potential Heisman Trophy winners. While Brett is getting most of the Heisman attention, they pick Jack as one of the six players not named Jameis Winston to keep an eye on.
UCLA teammate Brett Hundley might have a better shot at winning the Heisman, but we wanted to get a defensive player in the mix. Jack made a big splash as a freshman last season by becoming a where-did-he-come-from two-way player, rushing for 120 yards in his first game, scoring four TDs the next. But Jack's NFL future is as a linebacker, and the Bruins have limited him to that side of the ball in fall camp.
tWWL has Brett Hundley #5 on their Heisman watch list. Man I hope they don't end up splitting the vote. On the other hand if they did, that would mean we had a great season!
Lastly for today, SI has picked UCLA to come in at #5 in its preseason poll behind Florida St., Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio St. You can read their full analyses of UCLA here.
That's your news for today from around the UCLA-iverse and we hope you will join today's practice thread as the Bruins hold their last 2-a-day in San Bernardino. The first practice is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., the second at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, the team will host fan appreciation day and practice begins at 10:45.
If you are going out today, or are following practice on twitter, please share your observations and thoughts here, and feel free to write up any extended thoughts or observations later in a fanpost. You can also tweet pictures and/or video to us at @BruinNation.
Have a great day and Go Bruins!