* A pretty impressive scrimmage concluded UCLA’s fifth day of spring practice, with a crushing Dietrich Riley hit on Anthony Barr providing the exclamation point for the day.
* QB Watch:
Richard Brehaut moved really well in the pocket today and seems to be growing more confident in his own abilities, which plagued him at times last season. He hit some nice passes, including a couple while scrambling, that you just didn’t see last season. But he also had one pass that was just incomprehensible, and Rick Neuheisel singled it out during the press conference. During the scrimmage he was shaky, but the passing game didn’t get a ton of run with him in there.
Brett Hundley, meanwhile, looked to me like a freshman out there today. He missed several passes, took some coverage sacks (obviously in touch only) and grew a little frustrated with himself. What you have to admire, though is his willingness to learn and to consult coaches and teammates after mistakes.
* Riley had a fantastic practice, was extremely active and generally looks like one of the better players on the team. His body is filling out in the way it needs to fill out, and I would be surprised if he didn’t continue to take a big leap going into the season.
* Jordon James again drew some oohs and aahs, including on a beautifully executed designed backfield pass that he caught in stride and took about 11 steps before any defensive player approached him. A guy next to me in the stands: “I haven’t seen that play since MJD.”
* More drops from the wide receivers – Nelson Rosario had a ball hit him SQUARE between the numbers, and the thing is an oblong spheroid – but also some outstanding plays by Josh Smith, Taylor Embree and others. Still an inconsistent lot, but a lot of that is timing and just working out kinks. Of course, we thought that was the case in August last year…and September…and October…and….
* Cassius Marsh responded to yesterday’s…unpleasantness…with a good performance in team drills and Neuheisel seemed very pleased by his reaction to the incident on Monday.
* Video of Damien Thigpen and Neuheisel later tonight – my video battery was running low – but I also had great chats with Jim Mastro and Dietrich Riley that I’ll post tomorrow.