VIDEO: Jim Mora talks UCLA quarterbacks and more on Monday

Head coach Jim Mora talked after UCLA’s practice on Monday, touching on the Bruins’ ongoing quarterbacks race and redshirt sophomore Asiantii Woulard.

“It was the best day he’s had since he’s been here, Saturday,” Mora said. “He looked comfortable. Tonight, he backed it up with another really good practice. Not perfect, but a lot better. Things are moving in the right direction at that position.”

Mora also talked about the secondary, including the development of cornerback Marcus Rios, as well as receiver Jordan Lasley’s “quick trigger.”

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Q&A: Mid-spring camp — 4/12/15 Answers

Q: Does Josh Rosen really look like he can play this season. Or is the media really hyping it up too much … truthfully?

A: I honestly think he’s looked like UCLA’s best quarterback through two weeks.

Q: What’s your take on how much better Rosen would have to be to make burning his redshirt worth it? If he’s going to be only slightly better than Jerry Neuheisel or Asiantii Woulard, then maybe it’s best to keep his year of eligibility.

A: Quantifying differences into clear “start or not start” thresholds is tricky, but if Rosen can translate what he’s done in practices into real games, I think that’s more than enough to make burning that redshirt worthwhile. Neuheisel makes good decisions, but his limited arm strength limits his potential as a starter. Woulard has talent, but hasn’t looked as good as Rosen this spring — and that’s after two-plus years in the program.

If Rosen does start, then UCLA also has the ideal roster to surround a true freshman behind center. The entire offensive line is intact, and basically every significant receiver and running back returns too. Jordan Payton said after the Alamo Bowl that whoever replaces Brett Hundley will get the keys to a Ferrari. That remains a good metaphor for the Bruins’ offensive situation.

Q: If we assume Rosen likely locks down the starting QB job, is Neuheisel still holding down the No. 2 spot on the depth chart or has Woulard displayed enough consistency to close the gap?

A: I think I’d still give Neuheisel the edge at No. 2, but Woulard did very well to end the second week of spring camp. I wouldn’t rule him out.

Q: From your observation, as a whole, which position group on offense and defensive seem to be the weakest? Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp notes: Four quarterbacks share first-team reps

– UCLA broke away from the way its two-by-two quarterback rotation for the first time this spring, but it still didn’t technically eliminate anyone from the race. Instead, Jerry Neuheisel, Josh Rosen, Asiantii Woulard and Mike Fafaul each got a turn running the first-team offense in 11-on-11 scrimmages.

No one in the group really had a bad day, but again, Rosen stood out. His feel in the pocket has been excellent through spring, and he looks particularly impressive rolling out to his right and throwing downfield. On one such play, he connected with running back Roosevelt Davis about 30 yards down the sideline. He also made a great throw to Thomas Duarte, squeezing the ball through a tight window on a play in which the receiver didn’t really look open until he actually made the catch.

The timing of some of the plays counted for something too. Rosen was able to get the offense out of third-and-long on his first series, after the offensive line backed him up with back-to-back false starts. There was a healthy crowd out watching from parking lot 8 today, and broke into applause more than once.

Woulard was the runner-up in the competition today, putting in arguably his best showing as a Bruin. He had a long touchdown to Aaron Sharp, and seems to have also developed good chemistry with redshirt freshman Jordan Lasley. Continue reading

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