Spring Ball Preview: Wide Receivers

As part of my UCLA spring ball preview, we break down the position groupings. With a new coaching staff, the competition should be fierce in the spring, as few players did much too cement starting roles going into spring ball. The Bruins are going to more of a base spread offense and a base 3-4 defense – though they will mix packages and personnel frequently – so take into account the changes. This is only a spring preview, so only freshmen who are participating – T.J. Millweard and Marcus Rios – will be listed.

Wide Receivers

Looking Back
Shaquelle Evans 19 catches for 309 yards (16.3 ypc average) and two touchdowns
Ricky Marvray 10 catches for 57 yards (5.7 ypc)
Johnathan Franklin 9 catches for 74 yards (8.2 ypc) and one touchdown
Jordon James 7 catches for 122 yards (17.4 ypc)

Projected Depth Chart
(With so many receivers used in the new offense, there is no real depth chart)
JR Shaq Evans
RS FR Devin Lucien
RS JR Ricky Marvray
RS SR Jerry Johnson
RS JR Jerry Rice Jr.
RS JR Damien Thigpen
RS SR Joseph Fauria (Y)
RS JR Darius Bell (Y)

Coming In / Heading Out
In: FR Javon Williams, FR Jordan Payton, FR Kenny Walker, FR Ahmad Harris
Out: SR Nelson Rosario (graduation), SR Taylor Embree (graduation), SR Josh Smith (graduation), JR Randall Carroll (dismissal)

UCLA’s spring ball won’t be a true preview at the wide receiver position, which will get an infusion of young talent from a lofty freshman class. But it could be a coming-out party in a sense for those wideouts already in Westwood, as the position took a backseat to the running game in the Pistol offense. Noel Mazzone has said he needs eight receivers in order for his offense to function, so he’s going to need some to step up in the spring to cement their roles in the rotation.
If the offense is as pass-happy as Mazzone would like, then Evans and Lucien could be very active from the start.