Post-Practice Update

* It was a good first post-camp scrimmage for UCLA today, highlighted by the return of Brett Hundley and the success of Jeff Locke in the kicking game.

* Hundley’s return obviously became the story of the day, and while he saw rather limited action, it’s clear that he’s ready to play a role in the offense. How big a role is to be determined, but Rick Neuheisel reiterated that he could be in some specific packages. Hundley saw some reps with the first-team offense in 11-on-11 drills, but trainers kept him locked down for much of the day. He did have this to say about his role:

“If I didn’t miss two weeks I think I’d have a pretty good shot at (the starting spot). Missing two weeks, surely when it’s camp, is a big thing. That hurt. If I would have had the two weeks, I can’t go back and say I would have done this and that, but I mean, obviously, I would have had a better chance at starting. It is what it is. I’m going to be patient and when the time comes I’m going to take it and never look back.”

Hundley on weighing a redshirt year vs. a package role:
“That’s the one thing were sort of thinking about. I guess the question it comes down to is, is it worth playing that many snaps a game, or is it worth me redshirting and learning the offense and coming back next year as a redshirt freshman? That’s the one thing me and my family will talk over and then we’ll talk to Neuheisel about it. Obviously if I play, there’s still a chance throughout the season for me to start. I don’t ever keep that out of my mind. If things happen to go wrong, I can easily get a shot at starting. It’s a big game right now. We’re sort of just talking it through and sort of seeing what’s going on. After this week we’ll know a little better what’s going to happen. We’re going to figure out (whether) it’s worth playing 10, 15, 20 snaps a game or redshirting or just coming back next years as a redshirt freshman.”

* There were a number of false start penalties, perhaps attributed to the fact it was a major installation day. The defense wasn’t immune too, with Datone Jones flagged for an encroachment penalty.

* Nothing too intriguing on the starting quarterback front as neither were particularly good in the throwing game. The offense as a whole looked pretty sound today, though, and both players saw first-team reps, though the lion’s share went to Kevin Prince. Prince struggled a bit in the two-minute drill with the first team, taking a sack that drew Neuheisel’s wrath.

* Locke followed both two-minute drills with field goals to close practice, and it’s becoming clear that the kicking situation is even murkier. We could see Locke on punts and field goals/PATs and Kip Smith on kickoffs. Special teams coach Angus McClure said it was a mechanical issue with Smith, that he’s hurrying too much. On his successful kicks, he’s about 1.31 seconds. On the misses, he’s as fast as 1.10. That’s a jitters deal, and if Smith can work those out over the next couple weeks, he should be OK.

* Tony Dye is expected to return tomorrow, but as always, it’s a fluid situation. Taylor Embree still out.

* Tevin McDonald returned today, and Aaron Hester also practiced, and Neuheisel said his injury was more of a scare than anything else.

* Wesley Flowers suffered a punctured lung in the scrimmage and was hospitalized Saturday night. It was far worse than they’d anticipated. He’ll be out several weeks, and can’t fly for a few weeks. He won’t be traveling to Houston.

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  • Semi-Pro

    Glad to hear that Hundley is open to the idea of redshirting this year, as that’s probably the best move for him and the team in the big picture.

    I can totally understand the kid wanting to see the field ASAP, but I think a year of holding the clipboard on the sideline learning the details will do wonders for his long-term growth as a QB.

  • VAbruin

    Hey Jon,

    Thanks for the continued coverage. I was wondering if you could elaborate on the QB play from Prince and Brehaut today. You said that neither were “particularly good”….were they hitting their short and medium passes? Were they underthrowing/overthrowing their targets? Did any receivers stand out today with either of the QBs? Thanks!

  • dmc

    Soooo Rick, screaming at your quarterbacks hasn’t gotten it done for you…..have you thought about another approach? Or have you just lost your mind? I don’t see Jerry in there setting the world on fire, so obviously your coaching isn’t perfect. Could it be that you scream because you’re frustrated by your limited teaching skills?

  • Anonymous

    I hope Flowers makes a full and speedy recovery. Sorry that had to happen to you, buddy…

  • Rich

    Jon, you teased us in one of your posts yesterday about some more info on Manfro after he chased down Golper to avoid the quick-pick-6. Care to elaborate? his film looked damn impressive back when he first signed on with the Bruins; are we gonna see him at all this year?

  • BruinFaithful

    Dear God,

    This poor Flowers kid is having some bad luck. Hip flexor and now this? I ran into him after last Saturday’s scrimmage in Westwood and he chatted with me about how he is trying to gain some weight.

    Sorry to hear buddy. Get well soon and keep eating well to get your strength and weight up.

  • BruinFaithful

    Foster is calling it a Collapsed Lung, much more serious than a punctured lung.

    Get well soon buddy.

    BTW, Scout confirms that Brandon Willis is coming back to UCLA for sure.

  • Brock

    I agree with Rich, really looking forward to a story on Manfro.

    Also feel for Flowers. Hope for a speedy recovery.