UCLA football training camp day 14: Christian Pabico seizes moment

Christian Pabico hauls in a pass during practice on Aug. 15, 2017. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/SCNG)

After three years of being a loyal scout-team member, Christian Pabico is finally getting his chance. The walk-on receiver has turned into a star of training camp, rising from fourth string to potential starter in two weeks.

He’s worked with the No. 1 offense since the sixth day of practice. He catches the ball consistently. He runs the right routes. He knows the playbook. He does everything right and that’s why everyone on his team loves him.

“It’s the fourth year for him and a lot of the walk-ons battle their butts off every single day,” quarterback Josh Rosen said. “He kind of waited for this shot patiently for years and here it is and he’s seizing the moment.”

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Video interviews

Here are notes and observations from Day 15

  • Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
  • Attire: Full pads
  • After some really long practices at the beginning of practice, it seems that the schedule has been lightening up. Wednesday’s practice was another relatively short day. The team only has four more days of training camp left.
  • Play of the day came early as Josh Rosen unloaded a towering 45-yard pass to Theo Howard on the first play of the first team period after individual drills. Howard beat Denzel Fisher on the route and went straight to the end zone to get under Rosen’s long throw.
  • Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Matt Dickerson were big stand-outs for the defensive line. Tuioti-Mariner got started in a mini-team period, which one a one-drive session starting at the 10 right after stretch lines, with a fourth-down sack. He also had another sack on Matt Lynch after beating Sunny Odogwu in another team period. He got a one-on-one win against Andre James, who had been doing really well at right tackle in recent days.
    • Dickerson, who has been resting during some recent team periods, had a sack on Devon Modster in the first full team period and a tackle for loss on Bolu Olorunfunmi later in the practice.
  • Modster had a few good passes to several receivers. Demetric Felton, who just recently returned to full contact, showed nice athleticism by going up and high-pointing the ball in a team period. On the same drive, Howard did well to fight off strong defense from Jaleel Wadood to haul in another Modster pass. Jordan Lalsey caught a 25-yard pass from the redshirt freshman quarterback over Fisher later.
  • Nate Meadors picked off Rosen in the end zone during seven-on-seven. It was the only interception of the day (that I saw) but Octavius Spencer had two near interceptions.
    • Rosen did complete a nice, long pass to Christian Pabico in seven-on-seven in which the receiver got behind the safeties and easily would have gone for a touchdown.
  • In pass protection drills, Soso Jamabo struggled. He lost reps to Lokeni Toailoa and Krys Barnes. Josh Woods also won a rep against Caleb Wilson.
  • In lineman one-on-ones, Odogwu lost reps to Rick Wade and Keisean Lucier-South. Odogwu really struggles with the fast, pass rushing ends. Poasi Moala did well against Greg Rogers and Ainuu Taua. Kenny Lacy got a win against Lucier-South.
  • J.J. Molson was 3 for 4 on field goals. He was good from 33, 35 and 38 yards. He missed from 42.
  • Injury notes
    • Leni Toailoa still in yellow, was the only one in the non-contact jersey
    • Austin Roberts returned to the bike.