Spring notes: Head coach Jim Mora talks up cornerback Fabian Moreau


– Head coach Jim Mora pointed out much of Fabian Moreau’s progress at cornerback, going so far into the hyperbole as to call him a potential All-American.

While it might still be too early to ink that sort of praise, Moreau is clearly turning himself into UCLA’s best defensive back. Even Mora couldn’t resist; in the span of four minutes or so, Mora went from saying he didn’t notice Moreau much (a good thing) to saying the former high school tailback is a future first-round NFL draft pick.

– Mora also said next Saturday’s “Spring Showcase” will involve a lot more actual football than it did last year. He admitted that that edition, which featured almost no live gameplay, dragged on too long. He hoped that, health permitting, the coming event at the StubHub Center in Carson would feature much more exciting action.

The Bruins will also sign autographs from 3-4 p.m., before starting the event at 5 p.m.

– Mora admitted that reserve quarterback Asiantii Woulard has not progressed as rapidly as some might have hoped. Instead, the quarterback that has caught his eye as a backup for Brett Hundley is Jerry Neuheisel.

Some of that may an effort to light a fire under Woulard. The rising redshirt sophomore is without a doubt the most promising successor the Bruins currently have for Hundley, but has been inconsistent with his throws in the last two weeks or so. On Thursday, Woulard was held out of 11-on-11 sessions, and missed several throws on the 7-on-7 portion after a wide-open touchdown to wreceiver Sam Handler.

“He’s stalled a little bit,” Mora said. “Does it concern me? A little. But I think it’s common. You reach a barrier, and you ascend and break through. He wants to be great, but he’s still young.”

Meanwhile, Neuheisel has shown enough savvy to avoid mistakes and generally keep himself within the offense. Woulard is still the more promising talent, but still needs to prove himself capable of producing.

– Mora again stressed how “excellent” kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has been this spring. Punter Sean Covington apparently took field-goal reps just to give Faibairn a break earlier this week.

Fairbairn has performed well in the past few practices, and made every single one of his field goals on Saturday except a 57-yarder that fell short. However, the rising junior had looked just as good last spring, but couldn’t quite carry that over into the regular season. (Let me say now that Fairbairn is by no means a bad kicker. He’s just not a great one just yet.)

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  • facescar

    Thanks for the clarification on Fairbairn. Some people have been strangely negative about him.