Offensive lineman Zach Bateman is one of the new faces at UCLA this spring, and the transition hasn’t gone as smoothly as he’d hoped.
The JUCO transfer from Orange Coast College enrolled in January hoping to win a starting spot at left tackle. Through 14 spring practices, however, he’s been moving to different spots on the second-string line.
The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Bateman spent the first week or two of camp at guard, a position that was completely new to him. He’s since practiced more as a tackle, but said that the initial move didn’t help ease his learning process.
“From a left tackle point of view, I’ve got a fast end and I’m taking a step back, versus having a 330-pound lineman straight in my face (as a guard),” he said. “The stance is completely different. I was playing out of a three-point, versus out of a two-point. For someone that isn’t a lineman, those don’t sound like those are major differences, but it really is.”