UCLA spring camp notes: Kolton Miller takes first-string O-line reps

— Offensive lineman Simon Goines was present at today’s practice, but remained on the sideline when UCLA went into 11-on-11 drills, presumably giving him a day of rest given his long history of leg injuries. With Caleb Benenoch taking on a similar workload, first-string reps at right tackle went to redshirt freshman Kolton Miller.

The former four-star recruit had looked good as a backup left tackle through spring, and he continued to hold his own moving up to play with the starters. Former four-star recruit John Lopez, who hasn’t really been in the two-deep, took Miller’s place as the backup left tackle.

— After giving every quarterback a share of first-team reps on Saturday, UCLA has gone back into the two-by-two rotation. Today wasn’t the most enlightening session, as the Bruins mostly eschewed downfield plays for runs and goal-line work. Josh Rosen returned from his absence on Monday and took his turn running the first-string offense. He looked about as in command as he has through most of spring, though he wasn’t quite as impressive as he had been during the weekend — when he looked heads and shoulders above everyone else.

Mike Fafaul had a good day as the second-string quarterback, making one particularly nice throw to Jordan Lasley in the left corner. The walk-on has decent arm strength, and would do well in a pinch if UCLA got hit with a run of injuries during the season.

— Marcus Rios took most of the first-string reps at cornerback today opposite Fabian Moreau. He matched up with Jordan Payton, and looks like he could be a good bet to stay in that spot. If he sticks, Ishmael Adams would likely move to nickel.

— Receiver Alex Van Dyke and running back Craig Lee both appeared to injure their hamstrings today. The receiving corps is getting banged up a bit, with Eldridge Massington having spent the last week on an exercise bike due to a hamstring injury of his own.

Mossi Johnson also sat out after an undisclosed injury on Monday, but offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said the sophomore could return tomorrow.

— I’ve written this already this spring, but Nate Starks looks like he’s going to make a very strong tandem with Paul Perkins. UCLA has been happy to give Starks a healthy amount of first-team reps this spring in order to preserve the Pac-12’s leading rusher for the season, and he’s responded by running with a lot of conviction.

  • stephen

    They’re playing some good jams at practice lol

  • Laker Rod

    So much for the folks who were once hyping up Poasi Moala at the tackle positions. I don’t have anything against Moala but he’s a bit undersized and often times it takes time to grow into the position or find out where they fit best.

    Guys like Moala and Lacy and Lopez should be more relied upon as redshirt juniors. I hope we’re not down to Kolton Miller either as a redshirt freshman.