Caleb Benenoch didn’t get a chance to ease into his freshman season.
Originally in line to start at right guard, he lost the competition to fellow first-year Alex Redmond shortly before UCLA’s 2013 season opener. Four games in, however, he got his chance — albeit at a separate position.
Starting tackle Torian White broke a bone in his lower leg in an Oct. 3 win at Utah, opening a spot in the staring lineup for the 6-foot-5 Benenoch. The toughest part of his adjustment, Benenoch said this week, was keeping up with the speed of the game and refining his technique. He needed another four games or so to get comfortable with the pace. Continue reading
UCLA head coach Jim Mora said Thursday that the team doesn’t plan to redshirt its three freshman defensive linemen: nose tackle Ainuu Taua, and defensive ends Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.
All three were four-star recruits who were ranked among the top 35 Californian prospects in 2014.
“The plan is to play all three, and play them a lot,” Mora said. “In this conference, you have to be able to rotate guys through. They’re all good football players. That could change, but right now, we’re planning on playing them all.”
Mora also talked to reporters (VIDEO ABOVE) about the Bruins’ transition from training camp to game prep, the running back depth chart, and the development of Y-receiver Thomas Duarte.
Officially, Mike Tuiasosopo is in charge of coaching UCLA’s outside linebackers and special teams. Practically speaking, the latter role is more muddled.
Back in April, head coach Jim Mora said that his newest assistant coach was “still feeling his way through special teams.” Under former linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, the Bruins became one of the best kick and punt return coverage units in college football. Tuiasosopo doesn’t have that type of resume.
According to Tuiasosopo himself, special teams is still coached by committee. Continue reading
After missing spring camp due to academics, UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace is keen to regain his spot in the starting lineup.
How’s this for star power?
Denzel Washington visited UCLA’s practice on Wednesday afternoon, and took pictures with several wide-eyed players afterward. During an off-day from training camp last week, the Bruins got an exclusive screening of his new movie “The Equalizer,” which will be released on Sept. 26.
Last season, hip-hop mogul Diddy — whose son, Justin Combs, is a UCLA defensive back — visited a few practices with a multi-car entourage in tow.
Freshman Mossi Johnson is no stranger to devastating injuries, but falling on his shoulder on the first day of training camp still gave him a brief scare.