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Spaulding Roundup: Mora Talks Transfers, Playing Time for Talented Freshmen & Other UCLA Notes

News and notes from UCLA football practice at Spaulding as Bruins get closerstowards preparation for season opener v. Nevada.

Scott Halleran

And here we go. This is our first Spaulding Roundup for 2013 football season. Bruins are going to start their preparations for Nevada on Wednesday. So until this week's Humpday Jim Mora is keeping the practices open for public through tomorrow. We had one this afternoon and two more tomorrow. Here is the schedule from Jack Wang.

Mora met the reporters after today's practice and had the following comments on personnel:

The highlights from Mora's comments that stood out to me include:

  • Mora talked about T.J. Millweard and Jeremy Castro looking for transfer and unlike Brian Kelly showed some class in helping a kid make the right decision when he decides he needs to transfer to another program to pursue what is best for him.
  • Freshman OL Caleb Benenoch, who had a great camp and was positioning himself as a possible first year starter at OL was out with the flu. Mora is expecting him to back in practice tomorrow.
  • Mora is taking it real slow with Ian Taubler. In fact he is not sure whether we are going to see Taubler at all this year because he has already had two concussions. Mora mentioned that he has been having conversations with Ian, his parents and medical staff to make sure they collectively make the best decision and do the right thing for "longevity" for his career. Aaron Porter also apparently had a concussion and has been out of action.
  • Mora mentioned that Marcus Rios was getting cleared for "activity" but he is "far away" and the plan is for him to "redshirt." Similarly he said it was good to see Owa at Spaulding but he is nowhere close to returning in action as he hasn't done much of anything since the bowl game.
  • On the encouraging side Mora mentioned that Erick Kendricks looked good on 7 on 7 drills and that he will be "good to go" barring any "unforeseen activity."
  • Similarly Mora expects Eddie Vanderdoes to give some "quality reps" during Nevada game (about 30 snaps) even if he was pulled back a little today. Mora feels Eddie can be a "dominant" player as he goes through his learning experience as a freshmen year.
  • Speaking of freshmen Mora raved about two freshmen LBs. He talked about how Deon Hollins has the best "get off" on the team and he called Myles Jack the "starting dime LB."
  • The other freshmen who Mora identified as possible contributor these seasons are Isaac Savaiinaea , Cameron Judge (potentially in the special team) and Thomas Duarte.
  • Mora also talked about talented freshman DL Kenneth Clark who has had solid camp. But he has to decide whether he wants to burn his redshirt year for few snaps given the depth Bruins have at DL right now (good problem to have!).
  • When discussing whether or not to burn red-shirt years for freshmen players Mora said towards that if "they can help us win" he will get them on the field right now.

If you want to check out practice one more time before the season opener - tomorrow is your last chance. Practices will take place at 8:30 am and 6 pm out in Westwood.