End of training camp Q&A — Answers

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Thanks for your questions, friends. Since UCLA ended its fall camp with a surprise cancellation on Sunday, here’s a leftover story about how the team thought camp went in Westwood compared to San Bernardino. 

Also, here are my 5 lessons from training camp

OFFENSE

How does Josh Rosen look going into the season, compared to right before his freshman and sophomore campaigns?

I wasn’t covering the team for Josh Rosen’s freshman season, so I can’t speak on that. He obviously did well enough to win the starting job. If we’re just comparing this year to last year, I think he’s looked better. Rosen was always more of a gamer than a practicer. That’s not to say he doesn’t try in practice, but he usually shines the brightest when the game day lights come on. It’s more of his natural habitat. But this year, he had a few days in practice when he looked like he was in game mode, especially between Aug. 9-12. He was impressive during those days not only for the precision with which he was throwing the ball, but because he was coming off a terrible day on Aug. 8. I remember that practice because Scott Quessenberry gathered all the offensive players together on the sideline and cussed them all out between drives once. The offense scored only one touchdown during the two-hour, 35-minute practice that was dedicated almost entirely to team periods. Rosen’s ability to bounce back after the bad practice was impressive to me and then for him to continue on the right path was even more encouraging for the team. Continue reading “End of training camp Q&A — Answers” »

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UCLA in the NFL: Takkarist McKinley makes pro debut

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) reaches for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joshua Dobbs (5) in the first half Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Don Wright/AP)

In a long-awaited NFL debut, former UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley got only 10 snaps on defense and five on special teams for the Atlanta Falcons, but he flashed potential in the team’s 17-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The first-round pick coming off shoulder surgery got a quarterback hit when he entered in the third quarter.

“He was very excited to get going,” head coach Dan Quinn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He played a little bit at right end in our nickel package and a little bit on the punt return game. For him, getting his first NFL action was exciting for him.”

More clips from former Bruins in the preseason this past weekend:

Continue reading “UCLA in the NFL: Takkarist McKinley makes pro debut” »

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UCLA receives nine votes in preseason AP Poll

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the UCLA football Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

After a 4-8 season in 2016, UCLA will start the 2017 season unranked in the AP Poll for the first time since head coach Jim Mora‘s first year. The Bruins received nine votes in the preseason AP Poll, which was released Monday.

USC leads the four Pac-12 teams in the poll as the Trojans check in at No. 4, followed by No. 8 Washington, No. 14 Stanford and No. 24 Washington State.

The Bruins are one of four Pac-12 teams in the “others receiving votes” section of the poll. Utah was the second team left out of the poll with 85 votes, trailing TCU’s 98. Oregon received 21 votes and Colorado had 18.

UCLA’s first opponent, Texas A&M, earned three votes.

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UCLA football cancels final training camp practice

UCLA head coach Jim Mora addresses the media during Pac-12 Football Media Days event at the Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Center in Hollywood on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

UCLA players got a surprise on Sunday night as Jim Mora cancelled their final practice of training camp. Mora was scheduled to make a media appearance after practice, but instead will speak again Tuesday evening, after UCLA resumes practice at 2 p.m.

So with the sudden end to training camp, there will be no practice report Sunday, but there will be answers to your training camp questions Monday. If you have questions, drop them in the comments section on this post.

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Three-star DB Kendrick Torain commits to UCLA

UCLA landed its sixth defensive back commit for the 2018 class on Sunday as Florida-based three-star prospect Kendrick Torain announced his pledge on Spectrum Sports Florida.

The 6-foot-2, 188-pound Torain, who plays at Jesuit High in Tampa, Fla., was also considering offers from Auburn, Virginia Tech and Georgia. He released a top-10 on Twitter on June 7, but the list didn’t include UCLA.

Torain joins a big defensive back crop for the Bruins, which includes four-star corner Olaijah Griffin and four-star safeties Stephan Blaylock and Cam’ron Jones. Torain is UCLA’s second defensive back from Tampa in this class as Demetrice Martin also secured a commitment from Ken Montgomery Jr., of Hillsborough High. Dayven Coleman rounds out the group of defensive backs.

Scout.com has UCLA’s 22-man recruiting class ranked second in the Pac-12 and 13th in the country currently.

Here are Torain’s junior season highlights:

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