*RB Damien Thigpen was a popular man today after making several big runs with cutting moves. None more impressive than his 60-yard touchdown run. When he neared the end zone, Thigpen was met with applause by the Bruin fans sitting behind the end zone, a stark difference to when Thigpen had to mostly watch from the sideline last year while nursing a torn hamstring. RB Paul Perkins and Malcolm Jones also had some good rips. Walk-on Logan Sweet, a wide receiver, made a couple very nice catches, including one to the sidelined over the shoulder where he tight-roped his way into the end zone on a pass from Richard Brehaut. Brehaut later connected for a long touchdown with WRs Kenny Walker and Tyler Scott.
**Mora said right tackle, safety and defensive ends are positions that they have to make a determination on. Torian White and Conor McDermott have been rotating at right tackle with the absence of seven linemen, including Jeff Baca. The battle at safety rages with Tevin McDonald, Andrew Abbott and Dalton Hilliard. Cassius Marsh, Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Datone Jones are the defensive ends still looking to lock up a starting spot, though Ellis McCarthy will be in the mix when he begins full contact drills. Mora said all will rotate and could get equal reps.
***Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has been impressive, though Mora still has not named him the starter. Fairbairn went 4 for 5 in field goals including a 55-yarder which he completed on his second attempt after requestion Mora for another try. Justin Moreno went 2 for 6.
*****LB Jordan Zumwalt practiced but left early. He’s expected to be good for Monday’s two-a-day.
******QB Brett Hundley threw two interceptions today. Tevin McDonald recorded his third interception in two days while Erick Zumwalt recorded the other one. Hundley struggled in 11-on-11s early on as he overthrew and then underthrew WR Javon Williams on back-to-back plays. Hundley redeemed himself near the end of practice driving the offense twice to the end zone.
******The wide receivers practiced ball security in group drills. Receivers coach Eric Yarber brought out sparring gloves. At first, Jerry Johnson put the ball down and threw a couple jabs and a right hook. Eventually, Yarber used them for the drill where he had the receivers lay on their back while he kneeled next to them. At his command, the receivers jumped to their feet and took off with ball in hand while Yarber attempted to punch the ball out. On the next drill, the receivers lad on their back and jumped to their feet again, this time Yarber attempting to knock the ball out by punching from under their grip. On both drills, neither receiver had the ball punched out.
********OLB Keenan Graham saw some time at fullback again. He played the position in high school and was shifted there while FB David Allen gets over some kinks on his shoulder.
*********OL Tre Hale, a walk-on, is doing his best to get back on the field and grow a better comfort level. He practiced his snaps as a center during his downtime. Some snaps weren’t the best, and QB Jerry Neuheisel, who was helping him, gave him some tips. They practiced some snaps from the shotgun and eventually got a nice ball going after Neuheisel instructed him to aim for a higher angle for better placement.
It was 109 degrees at the start of practice today. It got down to 102 near the 6 p.m. hour. Practice went about three hours today. Two-a-day practice begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday and the second session gets going at 5:30 p.m. See yall there.