» Myles Jack worked a bit as a returner on Monday, and yeah — it’d be a ton of fun to watch the linebacker toss his 6-foot-1, 231-pound frame around on special teams in a real game. Don’t hold your breath, though.
“If he’s doing that, he’s just messing around,” said head coach Jim Mora, who expressed surprise that Jack had been returning kicks. “Myles has to be moving out there. So if there’s a drill he’s not involved in, he just goes and gets involved. I didn’t even know he was taking reps back there. He’s not on the depth chart as a kick returner.”
And given UCLA’s depth there, putting Jack at further risk of injury seems foolhardy — no matter how thrilling the potential highlights.
In addition to No. 1 returner Ishmael Adams, the current rotation on kick and punt returns includes safety Jaleel Wadood, receiver Jordan Lasley, receiver Devin Fuller, running back Craig Lee, receiver Kenneth Walker, safety Randall Goforth and receiver Aaron Sharp.
» Not much has changed in the ongoing quarterback race. Josh Rosen, Jerry Neuheisel, Asiantii Woualrd and Mike Fafaul each took a share of reps today, and none of them did anything that seriously upset the perceived pecking order behind center.
Rosen still looks like UCLA’s best option to start, assuming that what he’s done in three weeks of spring camp translates into real games. He made a number of good throws on Monday, including a long one to Kenny Walker in 7-on-7. Fafaul had a nice pass to Logan Sweet, who turned and leaped up to catch it, holding on while taking a big, midair hit from linebacker Jayon Brown.
UCLA isn’t going to name a quarterback this spring, and coaches haven’t even been willing to cut guys out of the race yet. So technically, there’s still time for anyone to pull into the lead for the starting spot.
» Receivers Eldridge Massington and Darren Andrews look healthy after from their leg injuries, and participated in full contact drills today.
Mossi Johnson was also thrown into the mix again after getting dinged up last week, taking first-string reps at slot receiver as Devin Fuller moved outside. Johnson has been impressive ever since he first put on a UCLA uniform last spring camp; if coaches are ready to trust him with a larger role, then it makes sense to try Fuller — second on the team in catches last season — closer to the sideline. Quarterback-turned-receiver Aaron Sharp has also looked like a promising prospect inside.
» Zach Bateman and Kolton Miller switched off as the backup left and right tackles, although the former still hasn’t looked as consistent as one might hope of a JUCO transfer. Redshirt sophomore John Lopez got some run at guard, but subbed out at times for a walk-on too.
» Earlier this spring, Mora pointed out Denzel Fisher as one of the players that had caught his eye — but qualified the praise by saying that the cornerback is a bit “handsy.” That tendency showed up again on Monday, when the redshirt freshman took committed an obvious pass interference penalty against Lasley on a long pass from Rosen.
That prompted secondary coach Demetrice Martin to say, “Take your hands off him!”