Spring notes: Defensive back Johnny Johnson leaves practice with wrist injury

— Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone talked about running back Craig Lee, the backup quarterback battle, and a couple of receivers.

— Defensive back Johnny Johnson left practice after injuring his right wrist trying to tackle walk-on receiver Andrew Huusfeldt. Johnson was expected to contribute to the secondary as a true freshman last season, but sat out the year after separating his right shoulder.

Even if his latest injury is serious, UCLA’s secondary should still be in good shape. Arguably the team’s weakest unit two seasons ago, it now balances plenty of depth and talent. The name to watch now is safety Tahaan Goodman, who looks like a completely different player than one that arrived at UCLA last summer.

Right now, he’s always the first guy off the sideline when the Bruins run their nickel formation. If someone gets injured, though, the former four-star recruit could slide into the starting lineup without causing a significant dropoff.

— Linebacker Isaako Savaiinaea did not practice this evening, but X-rays on his left shoulder were negative. The rising sophomore left Wednesday’s morning practice with his arm in a sling.

— Nose tackle Kenny Clark was a pleasant surprise last season after playing his way out of some talk of a redshirt last fall camp, and looks like he could be dominant as a sophomore. The Sun Bowl’s most valuable lineman manhandled center Jake Brendel on consecutive one-on-one reps — leaving Brendel shaking his head at offensive line coach Adrian Klemm.

— Punter Sean Covington has been practicing field goals a bit this spring, and looked decent at it on Thursday. The rising sophomore hit his first four or five attempts during one practice series, only missing when he tried from the right hash about 40 yards. He had some trouble there being left-footed, but nailed one straight down the middle after sailing pushing a couple wide left and wide right.

— UCLA’s all-time leading rusher Johnathan Franklin visited practice today.

  • CrouchingBruin

    Is something wrong with Fairbairne, or is Covington working on field goals as a backup?

    • Jack Wang

      Nothing’s wrong with Fairbairn, but it’s something to keep an eye on if he starts struggling.