After missing most of last season with a broken collarbone, wide receiver Devin Lucien is excited to be back on the field. On Thursday, he made sure to inform anyone within earshot — making for one of the day’s more amusing moments.
“Tell them I’m coming for that starting spot!” he yelled to reporters after making a catch over cornerback Fabian Moreau in one-on-one drills.
“I’m telling y’all right now,” he said after another catch. “Y’all better tell somebody!”
And, after yet another catch: “That’s automatic!”
Lucien had 10 catches for 188 yards through five games last season as a redshirt freshman before suffering his injury at Colorado. The 6-foot, 192-pound wideout was a four-star recruit out of Crespi Carmelite High in Encino.
– Coach Jim Mora mentioned Lucien as one of the players that impressed him from Tuesday’s film. Cornerback Ishmael Adams, who sat out last season after shoulder surgery, was another name that stood out. The freshman broke up several passes through Thursday’s session as well, even when matched up against senior Shaq Evans.
“He’s an excellent technician,” Mora said of the 5-foot-8 Adams. “He’s sturdy. He’s short, but he’s not small. He can jump. You’ve seen him in the one-on-ones. He’s got good timing at the ball. He knows when to go up and when to elongate and make a play.”
– The offensive line is still waiting on seven incoming freshmen to arrive in the fall — including four-star guard Alex Redmond, who watched practice in person on Thursday. Until then, the unit will have to manage with limited depth, particularly after the medical retirement of Greg Capella (concussions).
“We’ve always been a little thin,” said center Jake Brendel. “It’s actually a good thing because now we can just get more reps with the people who need them. The people we have now, we want to be able to rely on once the season comes.”
– Defensive end Keenan Graham will miss about a week of action with a pulled hamstring. Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who led the Pac-12 in tackles last season, left Thursday’s practice with a sprained ankle. Mora wasn’t sure about the severity of the injury, but didn’t think it looked bad.