UCLA spring camp notes: Steve Manfro to undergo knee procedure

» A few injury notes out of Thursday … Cornerback Ishmael Adams left the field yesterday looking like he’d slightly sprained his ankle, and spent today’s practice on the exercise bike.

Senior running back Steve Manfro is heading back to Westwood to get checked out after being bothered by both his shoulder and his knee. He had surgery on the latter after tearing his ACL in September, and will very likely have a minor procedure to shave off part of the meniscus. He’ll probably be sidelined through San Bernardino, but it’s not considered a serious setback.

» Josh Rosen had all the first-team reps today, and it turned out to be one of his roughest practices as a Bruin. He looked like he was forcing some deep balls in a way he didn’t do too much in spring, throwing one interception and a few others that were nearly picked off.

If he does win the starting job, there’ll definitely be at least one game where mistakes like that snowball; UCLA can only hope that that comes early in the season.

“I think he’s pushing to get better and he has a good grasp of the day,” head coach Jim Mora said.

On what was more of a defensive-weighted session, Jerry Neuheisel wasn’t lights out either on the second-team offense.

» Mora listed a few of the true freshmen that have impressed him: running backs Bolu Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo, receivers Stephen Johnson and Austin Roberts, and offensive linemen Fred Ulu-Perry, Andre James, and Tevita Halalilo. On defense, he pointed out linebackers Keisean Lucier-South and Josh Woods, as well as defensive backs Nathan Meadors and Octavius Spencer.

» Jamabo still needs to learn how to run lower to become a reliable, full-time tailback, but he did break out his best run of camp yet today — going 15 or 20 yards after finding a seam up the middle and cutting toward the right sideline.

It’s not news that Paul Perkins is pretty good, but he had a great touchdown run up the sideline that required him shrugging off a tackler or two.

» Thomas Duarte and Nate Iese both had a couple of really remarkable one-handed catches over the middle today. With Duarte, the only thing that’s stood in the way of a major breakout is his recurring hamstring problem.

Iese has long seemed underutilized in UCLA’s offense despite his size, athleticism, and red-zone efficiency, but if the Bruins truly want to implement a more traditional tight end role, he should get a good share of work.

» UCLA baseball coach John Savage was in attendance today. He’s been busy on the recruiting trail this summer, so this was probably the one time he’ll be able to get out and watch his son, linebacker Jack Savage.

  • Laker Rod

    Mr. Wang. Thank you for pointing out Rosen’s struggles and since this is happening now…you’re absolutely right in that Rosen will have at least one bad game where things snow ball. It happened to Hundley even as a redshirt frosh. This was no surprise as the same thing happened in practice also.

    Especially for true frosh…the results of bad practices are like magnified 3 times in real games. For a redshirt frosh it’s about 2 times.

    For older players the bad things that happen in practice is more of a 1 to 1 ratio but not quite. The game is always magnified.

    In addition, the good things that happen in practice are minimized games. It’s not the same ratio to that of mistakes but still the success doesn’t necessarily come so easy against it’s against much lower competition teams.

    Also, Jomabo is not going to learn how to run lower in such a short period of time. We don’t want another Malcom Jones to happen who also used to run high and expose the ball and was prone to fumbling.

    If Jomabo is used as a receiver out of the backfield…that’s fine. Since Craig Lee’s situation is somewhat unknown and due to Manfro’s situation…it would not surprise me to see both Bolu and Soso play. Bolu will be more of a runner while Soso will be more of a receiver.