Before the start of spring practice, one question mark was the outside linebacker spot opposite All-American Anthony Barr. If UCLA started its season today, that spot would go to redshirt sophomore Aaron Wallace.
“He’s kind of quietly gone about his business,” head coach Jim Mora said. “At this point, he’s solidified his position.”
Wallace is listed at 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, but looks significantly better than he did in his three-tackle freshman season. He’s also shown a decent ability to drop into pass coverage. Of course, Mora added that the depth chart is still fluid. Incoming four-star freshmen Myles Jack and Deon Hollins could both push for the spot too.
– Reserve quarterbacks T.J. Millweard and Jerry Neuheisel seem to alternate good practices, with the former perhaps having a slight edge at this point in spring. Position coach Taylor Mazzone said he still doesn’t see a frontrunner between those two and walk-on Mike Fafaul.
– Sophomore receiver Devin Lucien and freshman cornerback Ishmael Adams have both cooled off somewhat since stellar starts to spring camp. Adams in particular did not have a great showing on Monday, giving up ample separation on a few occasions. Tyler Scott, who has about a five-inch height advantage, grabbed a high pass Adams had no chance at stopping.
– Ellis McCarthy, who has lost roughly 30 pounds, doesn’t expect to be fully cleared post-knee surgery until the team heads to San Bernardino. He is switching from defensive end to nose guard, which does bring up a question of whether or not he can consistently get leverage against opposing linemen.
“I don’t know yet,” Mora said. “I honestly don’t know yet. He’s a taller guy. He’s 6-foot-5. We have to see, when he gets in there and getting extended amount of time, see if he can bend his knees and stay low.”
– Early-enrollee Kylie Fitts is still out after spraining his ankle last week, but Mora wasn’t too concerned about his progress: “He’s still getting a jump on things just be being here and being in meetings.”