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Bruin Bites: Preseason Day 2 - "Boring" Practices and Rios Returns

A collection of notes on UCLA Football as the Bruins hold preseason camp in San Bernardino and prepare for the 2014 season.

Ishmael Adams is getting a lot of praise for his play at DB this summer.
Ishmael Adams is getting a lot of praise for his play at DB this summer.
Harry How

The Bruins have finished the first two days of the grind that is the preseason camp in San Bernardino. You can see all the practice reports and recaps in our preseason stream. Meanwhile, let's take a look at some of the other stories coming out of camp and the UCLA Football team from last evening.

Edward Lewis from Bruin Sports Report and Ryan Kartje of the OC Register have been doing a great job with their daily Cover 2 Recap videos, which they are kind enough to make available without subscription. You can watch their thoughts and see some highlights from practice in their latest recap below.

video courtesy of Edward Lewis via YouTube

Besides a lot of great insight into the day at practice and some of the specific players, particularly Eldrige Massington, Ishmael Adams, Devin Lucien, and Tahaan Goodman, the two writers note that the mood around practice has been pretty businesslike, calling it almost "boring". They note that the positions and depth chart are pretty well set and there isn't much drama, and this reflects a team that is approaching the season in a businesslike manner that knows who they are and what is expected. Sometimes, boring is good.

Jack Wang at InsideUCLA has been busy with this twitter updates during the practices and summarized a lot of great observations and individual plays from yesterday's practice here. In case you missed it last evening, Wang tweeted a link to a nice photo gallery from yesterday's practice here in the San Bernardino County Sun. You'll note that the quarterbacks have changed to yellow jerseys, rather than the traditional red, which is good. We don't want any red on our football field.

There were a pair of articles yesterday on the return of DB Marcos Rios to the practice field this summer. Chris Foster at the LAT talked to Rios about his feelings on returning to the practice field for the Bruins. While many of his teammates may be approaching the SB camp with a variety of emotions, Rios has a truly unique perspective.

Rios, a freshman in 2012, spent months fighting for his life. What was believed to be a sinus infection turned out to be a rare and aggressive fungal infection. He was hospitalized for more than two months in the spring of 2013 and, after being released, was told by doctors that they had not expected him to live.

So stepping back onto the field was a big deal.

"I have been through enough," Rios said. "I'm just ready to play ball again."

Ryan Kartje of the OC Register also talked to Rios who is, not surprisingly, thrilled to be in camp in lovely San Bernardino.

Rios couldn't stop smiling on day two of fall camp. He was finally contributing at full strength, away from the sideline, where he'd spent so much of the past year.

"I've been feeling great," Rios said, "feeling a lot stronger out here, a lot stronger than I ever felt."

It's been a long road back to the field for Rios, but he looks to be regaining the form that made him one of the Bruins top DB recruits 3 years ago.

One of "the toughest summers of his life" working with strength and conditioning coach Sal Alsoi had something to do with that. Rios is up to 185 pounds now, but he wouldn't mind adding some more weight. He's played with UCLA's second team defensive backs here and there during the first two days of camp, but he doesn't have any specific goals for this season. Mostly because he already reached his biggest one.

We're all very thankful and happy to see Rios healthy. Seeing him back on the field is a bonus.

While Rios is working to get back to his old self, Brett Hundley is pushing to be the best player in college football this year. The betting site Bovada released their updated Heisman Trophy odds yesterday and Hundley checked in in 5th at 14-1. FSU QB Jameis Winston who won the Heisman last season is first at 9-2 and Oregon QB Marcus Mariotta is second at 6-1. Personally, I think gambling is killing sports, never mind that preseason odds like this are as worthwhile as preseason popularity polls rankings. The games this season will tell the story, but it does show both the respect and the level of expectations riding on #17 this year. #Hundley4Heisman.

Practice #3 is at 3pm this afternoon and as always is open to the public. You can find all the details on attending practice here on the Official Site. If you are able to make it out today, please share your observations and thoughts in our open thread this afternoon.