» At Pac-12 Media Days last month, Jim Mora said he wanted to find a starting quarterback “sooner rather than later.” At the start of training camp this week, he said UCLA would reevaluate the position after five or six practices.
But now, six days and seven practices later, the Bruins’ three-headed rotation is still going strong. During Saturday night’s full-pads session, it was Mike Fafaul who got the bulk of the first-team reps, with some also going to Jerry Neuheisel. Josh Rosen worked with the ones sparingly, but threw a pair of touchdowns.
Asked if at least one could be cut from the race by Monday, quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone held to the status quo.
“All three are doing a great job,” Mazzone said. “They’re having a great camp. I think right now, for the past seven practices, right now we still need to see more from all three of them. … We’re going to keep grinding those guys out, see what they can do.”
Mazzone did allow that if he gets a “gut feeling” about a player, then it would be appropriate to give him a larger share of the reps.
But asked if he had such feelings, he said: “I couldn’t tell you that right now.”
» Myles Jack worked a little bit at returner today, but was held out of essentially the entire second half of practice. Presumably, this was a consequence of his getting in a fight during Friday night’s practice. The linebacker was sidelined for 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, with Jayon Brown taking his spot on the first-team defense.
» UCLA ran its jumbo package a few times, with a couple of fun results. On one play, defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes — a former baseball player — ended up the ball and threw a touchdown to Jordan Payton. On another, nose tackle Kenny Clark got a goal-line carry and pushed into the end zone.
» True freshmen DeChaun Holiday and Colin Samuel are both listed at 6-foot-2, and respectively at 220 and 195 pounds. Even if those numbers are a little generous, they still have much more size than the cornerbacks UCLA has used in the last couple of years.
Receiver Eldridge Massington — who is 6-foot-3, 210 — pointed out the difference that made for him.
“I have to be — I wouldn’t say way more physical — but I have to be more on my technique going up against the bigger corners,” he said. “Normally, when I go up against a smaller corner, I use my size.”
That UCLA already has an experienced defensive backfield could make it difficult for either of them to earn significant reps at the start of the season, but they at least give the defense the ability to try some new looks.