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Spaulding Roundup: Mora on "Mutual Respect," Spring Standouts, Social Media Engagement & Other UCLA Notes

News and notes from UCLA's 7th football practice of 2013 spring ball.

Well, we are about half way through 2013 spring ball. Bruins held practice no. 7 this morning in Westwood. Judging from the video above Coach Mora was pretty pleased with what took place today and the general state of the program after 7 practices this spring. Per Mora's comments above Bruins focused a lot on 2 minute situations. Some highlights from this comments above:

  • "Lively" and "Spirited" practice: Mora mentioned that that practice was "lively" and "spirited." I will defer to those who were actually there but I get the sense there were lot of battles that got heated with decent amount of trash talking. Mora used the words "scuffles" and "dustups" to describe those situations but wanted to make sure that our players don't get into habit of getting any kind fights that hurts the team during the season.
  • On "trash talking": I really liked Mora's comments. He talked about how he is okay with trash talking that is "good natured and competitive" but he is not cool with trash talking that becomes "negative and condescending". He talked about how UCLA players should operate with a sense of "mutual respect" to foster a "competitive environment" and that he doesn't want the program to be have the reputation of cheap trash talkers. I can think of couple of players from last few years who come to mind but I won't name them. But I love this mindset from Mora. I hope it translates into game day mindset.
  • Good day for running backs: Mora mentioned that our running backs had good day today. He specifically named checked Paul Perkins, Jordon James and Malcolm Jones. Per his comment each of them "couple of good runs."
  • Spring standout: When reporters asked him which players stood out to him this spring he immediately mentioned XSF. He gushed about XSF's athleticism calling him a "rare" football player and talked about how he has been working on his techniques. Other guys he mentioned as having great spring as Cassius Marsh, Brett Hundley, Anthony Barr, Anthony Jefferson, Torian White, Ishmael Adams and Taylor Legace. He also is pleased with the progress of our 5 receivers - Devin Lucien, Jordan Payton, Shaq Evans, Devin Fuller and Darius Bell, who are apparently working well in sync with Hundley.
  • Ishamel Adams in Red - Ish is recovering from a shoulder injury from last season. While apparently he is looking healthy and doing "everything," Mora is not taking any chances this spring and keeping him in red. Good call. Side question. Do they have to be "red" per NCAA rules? Can we like make them "Gold" or "Black" so that we don't have to use red? Someone should ask him that on Twitter next time around.
  • Walkon Zach Hernandez - His name was brought up by one of the reporters as someone who has been having a good spring and Mora gave a very positive impression on this kid. He referenced previous walkon standouts such as Andrew Abbott to compliment Hernandez. I never heard of the kid before. On the roster he is listed as a 6-0/179 receiver from Malibu who is a redshirt freshman this season. After today the official website may want to get a picture of him (then again can't count on those guys to be on top of this, can we?).
  • Mora's Engagement on Twitter/Social Media and further exposing Guerrero's incompetence ­- Not surprisingly the reporters prodded Mora about his motivations and thoughts on his recent heavy (and what we believe effective) engagement with the Bruin fanbase via Twitter. Mora's response was "part of the job was reaching out to fanbase." He should probably call Chianti into his office and school him and his clown show on how to get it done. What Mora has done in last two weeks make Chiant's "outreach" through weekly "world from Westwood" a bigger joke than it already is. Without taking any direct shots or saying anything, just by his actions at least when it comes to communication and connecting with the community, Mora has confirmed what a f**king embarrassment Guerrero is as a "leader" of the athletic department.

A key note not covered in the video - Bruins had an interesting guest at practice. Rushel Shell, the 5 star RB from Pittsburgh who is looking to transfer was at practice today and Edward Lewis from BruinSportsReport tweeted this:

Interesting. Thanks again to Edward Lewis from BruinSportsReport for the video. If there are other notes that are worth sharing please chime in the comment thread here or put them up in fanposts.