* UCLA’s fourth spring practice and second in bad could be termed The Return of the Malc.
* Rising junior running back Malcolm Jones had a big resurrection on Tuesday after generally looking uninspired for the first three days, running with strong power and finishing with authority. Steve Broussard challenged him pretty hard early in practice, and Jones responded. Of course, it had to happen on a day Dalton Hilliard went down with cramps.
* Sinbad was at practice.
* A pretty good day of passing overall, but still not seeing that one guy who hits every single pass. Brett Hundley has looked better every day, but is still a little tentative. Richard Brehaut was behind on a handful of throws, as was Kevin Prince. Jerry Neuheisel is throwing the ball really well.
* Lot of guys getting some work in at punt return, and you can sense through talking with Jeff Ulbrich – good interview with him today, posting later this week – that the emphasis on special teams has been raised.
* Keyshawn Johnson was at practice today and spent a lot of time watching the receivers, and he casually mentioned the up-tick in tempo. He and Eric Yarber seem very tight, and that could pay big dividends for UCLA’s recruiting fortunes.
* Jim Mora had some good things to say about Devin Lucien and Steven Manfro today.
* Not trying to fuel the hype machine too much on Darius Bell, but he is really impressing. He’s actually hit another threshold – a quarterback (can’t remember which one) threw a rocket to Bell in the back of the end zone that he dropped, and I was actually surprised. That’s a big leap even after four days. But Bell made a heck of a catch between Shaq Evans and Sheldon Price for a touchdown later in the day.
* The biggest question mark heading into the season will be the offensive line, it appears. With so many health issues, the unit is very thin, and some guys just are not ready to contribute. Aside from Jeff Baca, everyone on the line has issues, and even Baca needs to increase his lateral speed.
* That being said, much better on the quarterback-center exchange.
* Andrew Abbott (knee) and Jordan Zumwalt (stomach) missed practice along with those who’ve been out, and Dalton Hilliard and Anthony Barr suffered from cramps and had their days ended prematurely. Jerry Rice Jr., meanwhile, took an awkward hit on a play and will need X-rays on his collarbone.