Kevin Prince is starting to see more – and hear more – from Ricky Marvray.
More on the field, as the UCLA redshirt freshman wide receiver has been a primary target in the early going of Spring Ball.
More in the locker room, as Marvray’s locker is right next to Prince’s, and he reminds Prince every day of it.
And more on Marvray’s phone, which has a “Football is Life” background.
“When I’m out here, I’m not just out here for fun,” Marvray said. “This isn’t a pastime. This is my passion. When I’m out here, I’m 150 percent every play. I’m not out here by mistake. This is not an accident. I’m out here to do work.”
Last year, call it a furlough.
Marvray redshirted as a freshman after performing well early in fall camp. Gradually his production and role decreased, fumbling and dropped passes becoming an issue. The game seemed to be just a bit too fast for him, or perhaps he was too fast for the game, sometimes over-running routes and generally looking raw.
Now, Marvray is making the highlight-reel grabs but also the simple outs and slants, his timing with Prince especially sharp. During Tuesday’s practice, with Colorado transfer Josh Smith nursing a tweaked knee, Marvray worked with the first unit, and caught back-to-back passes during one offense-vs.-defense session.
“We talk a lot, and he just has this love for football,” Prince said. “The background of his phone says ‘Football is Life,’ and it’s real. He’s one of those guys you want to play with. He’s out here making plays, as opposed to last year, when it was tough for him because he really wasn’t getting what was going on.”
Along with sophomore Jerry Johnson, Marvray appears to be giving UCLA some real depth at the position.
They have the swagger, they have the talent, now they just have to put it together.
“He’s not short on swagger; he’s going to look like he knows what he’s doing even when he doesn’t,” UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said. “That won’t ever be something we have to coach him on. What we have to do with Ricky is make sure he understands exactly what to do, how to do it, and can do it at full speed.”