Post-practice update

* 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.

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  • Coach Thom

    We need Jerry Rice this year! Hope it’s not a serious collarbone injury. Were the cramps leg cramps, foot cramps, stomach cramps? I’ve always said Jerry N throws a beautiful ball. By August, the passing choices might well be Jerry and Fafaul. Glad to see my man Manfro is lighting it up. That kid is incredible. He and Ahmad Raasshad (sp?) would make a dynamic KO/PR combo IMO. Good reporting, Jon.

  • Anonymous

    thanks jon keep up the good work!!
    Not telling how to do your job but being first to blog the practice report will go a long way to helping your rep. Fans like me fiend on those reports.

  • I was very impressed with Manfro when I saw him last Saturday, he keeps his feet moving forward when he gets hit and always going north and south.

  • Anonymous

    So Jon, when are you gonna hit the Bod Pod?

  • gilligan

    I am not sure how K. Johnson’s attendance at UCLA with his good friend will correlate to UCLA recruiting success since he loves USC. The funniest line I recalled reading about recruiting involved Jerry Neuheisel and Johnson where Neuheisel informed recruits that if they wanted to go to a bowl game they should go to UCLA whereas Johnson replied, “If they want to go to a bowl they definitely don’t want to go to UCLA”.
    For the most part a lot of USC and UCLA players know each other from their High School playing experience and tend to have a good relationship off the field. That is why I don’t find it strange seeing former USC and UCLA players hanging out with one another. There might be some football trash talk but I don’t think it ever escalates to hate for one another though both fan bases might differ.
    I recall going to a number of UCLA functions wearing my USC colors and everybody was cordial and the same thing happen when my UCLA peers visited USC (mine you it was during the UCLA run against USC). Weird how you don’t sense this type of reaction based on the comments posted on this board and on the USC board from both fan bases.

  • Talk about being thrown under the fudge bus.

  • BruinRunt

    More caca posted on DailyNews blog:

    BruinRob Author Profile Page said:

    @gotroy – yea, NOBS croaked, too many 4×4 at in-n-out, and too many licks on his dog’s schlong, finally did the loser in…anytime you wish to pee in his ashes let me know, I won the rights to them at an aution

  • Anonymous

    Jon, why mention Sinbad? All that does is clown UCLA FB. Equating the importance of Sinbad (lol) with the importance of UCLA FB. I’d rather have read a sentence about Jonathan Franklin. Or Eric Kendrick. But no. “Sinbad”….sad.

    Clown On, Jon…

  • Anonymous

    How about instead of Sinbad, mentioning Randy Jackson in attendance? A more relevant personality as a toss aside.
    Manfro was a beast in running and blocking drills.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Anon1212: Why mention Sinbad? Why add any humor or color at all? Why even play football at a school? Kids should just be going to school and then doing homework, after all. Why hide behind an anonymous tag after such a stupid take? Moreover, why not go start your own blog and watch no one come due to sheer boredom.

  • Sunset Bruin

    Thanks for the insightful comments, Jon. Well done!

  • MichaelRyerson

    Sinbad who? And why do I find it less surprising Keyshawn Johnson would be hanging around at a UCLA practice than I would if Jonathan Ogden was hanging around over at ‘SC? just sayin’

  • UCLAstripes

    Sinbad, as in UCLA recruit Devin Fuller’s uncle…

  • MichaelRyerson

    So he’s a sailor? It’s nice he can spend an afternoon, when he’s in port, watching his nephew practice. I hope his ship is back this way during the season. Was he in his sailor suit?

  • MichaelRyerson

    And, yes, I was being facetious.

  • Anonymous

    In all, I’m glad that the guys are showing they are talented… The up tempp, aggressive practice that this coaching Regime is bringing in is really getting the talent potential… While I still think USC and Oregon has the best talent, UCLA has enough to cause trouble in the Pac 12…

    Jon, next time tell us how young Cassius Marsh is doing..