7-on-7 observations, Pt. 2

* 7-on-7s are truly only good for observing the passing game, and if today was any indication, Ricky Marvray could emerge as a true threat over the next couple of years. No one tries harder than Marvray, and his passion for the game and his attitude are evident. He’ll open some eyes.

* Josh Smith does not look 100 percent, but he’s close. He stayed step-for-step with Sheldon Price on a deep ball, and he had a beatiful catch-and-run that had some guys falling over laughing. The guy doesn’t run with the ball, he dances with it.

* Cory Harkey and Fauria will form a potent tight end combo for the Bruins, and I would expect a high focus on the horizontal game this season. If Smith can and Rosario can stretch the field as expected, UCLA should have a much more complex offense. Everyone talks about Norm Chow not having the weapons to unleash…he does now.

* One last thing on the turnout: I was very surprised by the number of players in attendance, and by the enthusiasm for the task at hand. While there was certainly some playfullness, when the ball was snapped, there was good energy and a lot of learning going on.

* Prince interview to follow tomorrow morning…

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  • Watty

    and with these two 7-on-7 posts, my anticipation for this season of CFB has officially begun. Keep it coming Jon…

  • j_doe

    It is probably asking too much, but I am hoping J Smith is the next Freddie Mitchell, and Fauria the next Marcedes Lewis.

  • http://http:://www.latimes.com/sports/college/ucla BruWin

    Yes, finally UCLA has the weapons that they have not had in a long time. UCLA is going to surprise a lot of people this year. The offense will be very exciting to watch and the defense will be just as exciting with so many great play makers.

  • Anonymous

    What I see here is the same pattern every year. There is hype and talk about certain players and the expectation of immediate contribution of certain skill position guys and then the immediate turn around of the UCLA football program. In reality it simply doesn’t happen.

    If we look at this year we have newcomers we have not seen in live game action yet like Fauria, Josh Smith, AO, D. Riley, J. James, M. Jones, Ricky Marvray etc.

    If we think about it, last year at this time July 2009 it was about Morrell Pressley, Richard Brehaut, Randall Carroll, Milton Knox, Damien Thigpen, Jayson Almond, Todd Golper, etc.d It was these guys who were now going to be better and all of a sudden take over for certain guys from the previous class like Rosario, Embree, and even existing guys like Terrence Austin etc.

    The irony is that if you look at the players listed who were hyped last year…not too many of them are being discussed about now. Look at the reports. You don’t hear much about Brehaut anymore. Same with Pressley, Carroll, and Thigpen. Knox is gone too.

    The year even previous to this is somewhat similar at the time of July 2008. The players being hyped were Nelson Rosario, Antwan Moutra, Milton Knox, Andre Dean, Rahim Moore, EJ Woods, etc.

    In truth, there is nothing wrong with the players RN is getting. He obviously needs to focus on more linemen though and he is doing this. Where the flaw in the process occurs is the “expectation” from both coaches and fans of immediate contributions of newcomers and how they have supposedly passed certain existing players on the depth chart.

    This yearly excitement of newcomers is fun but IMO it is also an insult to the current existing players on the UCLA roster and all the hard work they have put in over the years.

    The focus on the 7-7 drills should be on guys like Rosario, Embree, Jerry Johnson, Prince, Harkey, Pressley, Carroll, Thigpen, Coleman, Franklin, Bowens, Larimore, Sloan, Westgate, Love, D. Price, Hilliard, McKay, Dye, A. Hester, Brandon Sermons, etc.

    Is Rosario holding on to the ball better? Has Embree gained some speed. Has Jerry Johnson improved enough overall where he can contribute? Is Thigpen more physical now? Is Pressley running more precise routes? Is Coleman faster? Is Franklin holding on to the ball? Is Sloan being more active and physical? Is D. Price more physical?

    So again, it’s nice to hear about AO, M. Jones, James, etc. but if we need these guys’ help now along with other true freshmen and expect them to play major minutes then UCLA will still be a poor program IMO.

    Where the real focus needs to be is the QB, linemen, and existing skill guys.