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Spaulding Roundup: Mora Gushes About Ulbrich, Spring Standouts, Trojan Dancers & Other UCLA Notes

News and notes from the UCLA football program.


Thanks to JoeBruin15 for sharing his extensive notes from Day 3 of spring ball. It was the Bruins' first day in pads. Here are some additional news and notes from Spaulding. Coach Mora met with the reporters after the practice:

He took note of the ankle injury of OL Ben Wysocki. As noted by Joe Wysocki was carted off the field. Hopefully his injury is not anything serious and he will get healed up soon. Other comments of note from Mora:

  • Mora praised the work of OL. He specifically name checked the performances of Caleb Benenoch,Poasi Moala (redshirt freshman), and Najee Toran. Najee is an early enrollee, who is going to be a freshman next year.
  • Speaking of OL, Mora noted that transfer (from Miami) Malcolm Bunch should be eligible soon. Malcolm is getting some of his paperwork straightened out but Mora didn't sound overly concerned about.
  • Mora talked about Brett Hundley getting off to a "good start" this spring and that he thought redshirt freshman RB Craig Lee has been having a good spring to date.

Mora then talked about his new DC Jeff Ulbrich and just gushed about the former long-time 49ers veteran:

  • Mora noted that he tried to hire Ulbrich when he was the head-coach in Seattle. It was Pete Carroll who kept Ulbrich in his staff for couple of years before he decided to join Mora at UCLA.
  • Mora lavished praise on Ulbrich with classic cliches calling him someone who is a "great competitor," "detailed oriented," and coaches with "tremendous passion."
  • More asserted that Ulbrich "understands every position on defensive" "coaches the way he played the game" and they share "similar philosophies with regards to scheme and techniques." He suggested that Ulbrich's prolonged career in the NFL with one team (played for the Niners for 10 years) helped him develop as a coach.
  • Mora joked about how Ulbrich loves to get a "work out" in every practice - and calling him someone who is a little "goofy," "crazy," and "a nut."

Well, we are excited to see how Ulbrich/Mora leverage the talent the Bruins have amassed on the defensive side of the field last few years. It should all come together this upcoming season.

If you are looking for some cool photos from practice Daily News posted a gallery. Chris Foster from the LA Times has some additional notes which includes following observations on UCLA's deep secondary:

A year ago, the remainder of the secondary was green. Safeties Tahaan Goodman and Tyler Foreman and cornerback Priest Willis were freshmen.

This spring, Goodman has been particularly impressive through three practices.

Added to the mix are cornerbacks Marcus Rios and John Johnson, who missed their freshman season with health issues. They are joined by incoming freshmen Ron Robinson III and Adarius Pickett, who enrolled early to participate in spring ball.

Talent will certainly not be an issue for the Bruins next year. That's why even traditional media writers like Ted Miller is not having problem with smacking down silly concern trolling about the Bruins:

Ryan from New York writes: Ted, Nice "puff" piece on the Bruins. But they need to beat somebody other than embattled Bo Pelini and a depleted USC team that dressed less than 50 scholarship players in LA last fall. UCLA is 1-6 in the last couple of years against Oregon, Stanford and ASU. Not good. Before you start popping off about being a national title contender, you have to beat the good teams. Oh, and beating an underachieving Virginia Tech team that played more than half the game with a backup QB who had thrown less than 5 passes all year doesn't count. Peace out.

Ted Miller: I was wondering where you'd been. I fear it's going to be a long and frustrating year for you, Ryan.

UCLA welcomes back 19 starters from a squad that beat five teams that won eight or more games last year, including a 10-win USC team. By 21 points! Also back is QB Brett Hundley, leading a team that finished the season 10-3 and ranked 16th.

The Bruins are going to be ranked in or very near the preseason top 10. Oregon, USC and Stanford all visit the Rose Bowl.

You can stew and frump all you want, but the reason people think highly of the Bruins' chances is something called "supporting evidence."

Nicely done Ted. Very nice.

And, speaking of silly - over on the other side of the town Seven-Win-Sark held a "dance contest" during practice. Someone should tell Sark that Ball-room Matt is not going to walk through the door.