Spring notes: Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich relishes breaking up scuffles


– Thursday’s practice featured a fight that started, as usual, when a few receivers and defensive backs got in each other’s faces. The main culprits: Jalen Ortiz and Tyler Scott on offense, and Ishmael Adams and Tahaan Goodman on defense.

Head coach Jim Mora stopped practice to admonish the team as a whole. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talked a bit about managing player emotions, but actually sort of enjoyed jumping in and pulling players apart.

“It brings me back to my playing days,” he said. “I kind of like it. Maybe too much. The potential of someone hitting me … it was awesome.”

– Ulbrich also said that the experiment of putting Zach Whitley at outside linebacker is over. The four-star early enrollee looks far more comfortable inside, where he has returned since missing Monday’s practice due to a bruise.

“It was a thing where, we thought he could maybe compete outside and that might be the best situation for our defense,” he said. “I don’t think that’s true anymore.”

The Bruins are thinner at outside linebacker, with Myles Jack, Kenny Orjioke and Deon Hollins making up the entire rotation.

– I asked Kenneth Walker if he was the fastest receiver on the team. He responded: “Fastest player on the team.”

Walker, who missed all of last season following a summer back surgery, said he ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash in high school but hasn’t tried it since. He also added that he’s focused mainly on improving his hands. His speed usually helps him generate enough separation with defenders, but he also wants to improve his routes and releases.

And apart from the occasional back spasms, he said he’s 100 percent healthy.

– Offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche practiced fully after leaving Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. Linebacker Jayon Brown returned as well, but was limited.

Starting inside receiver Thomas Duarte left practice on crutches after appearing to sprain his ankle.

– Punter Sean Covington kicked field goals to end practice. He missed three from beyond 40 yards — including a 60-yarder — but even one barely cleared the uprights, flying on a low straight line. He has a big leg and has practiced field goals this spring, but still doesn’t look quite natural there.

Starting kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn hasn’t been bad, but also doesn’t look significantly improved from his 14-of-20 sophomore season.

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  • SUCC de trop

    Who’s the player with the Boxing gloves?

    • Jack Wang

      Receivers coach Eric Yarber.

  • Moises Rosiles

    Getting pumped!!!! See you at the Spring Game…Go Bruins!

  • NOBSisdaMAN

    Probably a thug himself.