Labeled “inconsistent” by head coach Rick Neuheisel after UCLA’s last scrimmage, Kevin Prince is not changing anything up heading into tomorrow’s scrimmage.
“It’s the same as always; control the huddle, make sure we’re in and out,” the redshirt freshman quarterback said. “Coach Chow’s focus on this is game mechanics, making sure we’re in and out of the huddle. Make sure we get the plays right and the formation set up. It’s about not making any mental mistakes.”
And it all starts with the playbook, Prince said.
“It’s a lot to take in, especially for a quarterback because you kind of have to know what everyone is doing,” Prince said. “It’s a lot of studying. But it’s not like I’m studying history or math. It’s studying football, which I love to do.”
On UCLA’s depth compared to last season:
“It’s huge; you never know how long you may play into a season or when you’re last play may be. We have a group of talented people, so if one falls we have another one who can come in and do the same thing. In practice, all we do is compete with one another, and we’re all getting better and better.”
On the coaches giving different running backs the ball:
“Every day, our running backs are each getting five or six reps a day, and we have five or six running backs. The O-line, look how many we have. It’s a good thing to do; everybody is prepared, and whenever somebody gets that opportunity, they’ll be ready.”
On what he hopes to see at Friday’s scrimmage:
“It should be no different from practice. Our games, whatever we do this year should be no different from practice. We go into it like any other one. Have fun, show the coaches what we can do.”
On tomorrow’s scrimmage:
“We’ve spent some time on San Diego State, but we’re playing against our own guys. We have to switch gears a little bit, transition into ‘camp’ football. Hopefully we’ll be enthusiastic and sound, manage the game pretty well. It doesn’t matter what you score; these guys know each other and are tired of hitting each other. We want a good clean scrimmage.”
On preparing for early games against SDSU and Tennessee:
“The first two we play are tough because they’re new coaches, new staffs. We end up looking at old film. We get to see one game of Tennessee and none of San Diego State. It’s a crapshoot. But the first time is always a crapshoot.”
On the team’s depth this season:
“I think there’s a huge difference; Rick did a great job with recruiting. We’ve got competition in spots on offense. They’re young and enthusiastic, and they really want to do well.”
On the new players making him feel young again:
(laughing) “Oh, come on. I always feel young.”
On Thursday’s practice:
“Obviously there is a lot to get in when you’re getting ready for a game. Dress rehearsals and so forth. You’ve got all sorts of situations to cover, especially with such a young team. (Practice) took longer than maybe I wanted, especially in this heat. It’[s stuff you got to do, and I’m glad we got it done.”
On how much of San Diego State’s game plan is installed:
“Less than 50 percent. I don’t think you put things in too early, it gets stale. But we’ll be ready, and the kids will be excited and we’ll execute it well.”
On Randall Carroll and Ricky Marvray:
“They’ve been terrific. They’ve worked hard. This is a huge culture change, from high school to college. To mature as fast as we’re asking them to do is not an easy thing to accomplish. They’re buying in, they’re asking the right questions, and there energy level is great.”
The players were indeed thankful for the reprieve from full gear, as it was sweltering. Rick Neuheisel had sympathy for his guys, particularly as practice went long by almost a half hour.
However, with the season opener only nine days away, UCLA understands it needs as much preparation as it can get.
I spoke with Norm Chow, Rick Neuheisel, Jeff Baca, Johnathan Franklin and a special guest. Stay tuned.
A scorching morning sun has UCLA’s players thankful that they are only in shells today, shoulder pads and helmet. Looks like it will be a light practice, focused on preparation for Friday’s closed scrimmage at the Rose Bowl.
As defensive tackle David Carter strolled onto the practice field, he shook his head and said, ‘Woooo, it’s hot.”
Christian Ramirez is still in a walking boot but the limp is noticeably lighter today, and Chane Moline and Stanley Hasiak are back in pads for practice.
Foster Louis Bosworth Jr., the grandfather of Korey and Kyle Bosworth, passed away yesterday in Texas. The Bosworths will remain with the family for a few days, and are expected to return for practice on Sunday.
Both Bosworths said their grandfather was instrumental in their lives. All my condolences.
Christian Ramirez was back in full gear at practice on Tuesday, but did not participate in any drills.
“The swelling has gone down,” Ramirez said. “I’m just waiting for my ankle to tell me (when he’s ready).”
Chane Moline was also in pads, but held out of practice, given a day of rest by the coaches.
Freshman wide receiver Randall Carroll has effectively earned his spot in the wide receiver rotation.
He is thankful for the potential playing time.
He is more thankful to be learning the position under Terrence Austin and Taylor Embree.
“As young guys, we’re all hotheaded,” Carroll said. “If something happens, we snap. The older guys show us how to hold our composure, how to work in pressure situations. Two-minute drills when you’re tired, keep working. Don’t talk to the defense; let them talk all day to us. They lead by example, and say, ‘Stay quiet and just show by your play on the field.’”