Video: Jayon Brown and Conor McDermott at Pac-12 Media Day

Here’s some video of linebacker Jayon Brown and offensive tackle Conor McDermott at Pac-12 Media Day.

Brown talks about getting picked to win the Pac-12 South, the return of Eddie Vanderdoes and facing Noel Mazzone in the season opener.

McDermott talks about his decision to return to UCLA.

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Eddie Vanderdoes named to Outland, Nagurski Trophy watch lists

Defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes is out for the season after tearing his ACL in UCLA's 2015 season opener vs. Virginia. (Rachel Luna/Staff)

Defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes was named to two watch lists on Thursday. (Rachel Luna/Staff)

Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List on Thursday. He is returning from a season-ending ACL tear suffered in the 2015 season opener. Earlier this week, Vanderdoes was made the Bednarik Award Watch List.

Offensive tackle Conor McDermott was also named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which honors the nation’s top interior lineman (on offense or defense), as voted on by the Football Writers Association of America. The senior returned for his final year of eligibility with the Bruins after starting 12 games last season.

Defensive back Fabian Moreau was also watch-listed for the Nagurski Award, which is awarded by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the best defensive player in the nation. Like Vanderdoes, Moreau is also returning from injury. He broke his foot three games into the season, but was a team co-captain.

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Conor McDermott, Jayon Brown to represent UCLA at Pac-12 Media Day

Jayon Brown will be a leader on defense this season for UCLA. (Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze)

Jayon Brown will be a leader on defense this season for UCLA. (Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze)

Offensive lineman Conor McDermott and linebacker Jayon Brown will be UCLA’s player representatives at Pac-12 Media Days next month. UCLA is scheduled to take the podium at Hollywood & Highland on July 15 at 10:30 a.m. during the two-day event.

Quarterback Josh Rosen‘s absence at the event is surely intentional. In fact, Colorado’s Sefo Liufau is the only quarterback expected to be at the event. Meanwhile, there are four offensive linemen coming. Oregon State is bringing punter Nick Porebski.

Other notable players scheduled to come are USC’s Adoree Jackson, Oregon’s Royce Freeman, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

Schedule for team media events is as followed: Continue reading

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Spring practice day 1: Offense sloppy in first scrimmages

UCLA head coach Jim Mora talks to the media after the first day of spring practice. (Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze)

UCLA head coach Jim Mora talks to the media after the first day of spring practice. (Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze)

One day down, 14 more to go. Here are a few observations and notes to pass along from the first day of spring practice.

Read the notebook from the first day of camp, focusing on Jim Mora’s aversion to the “pro-style” label.

Watch/listen to post practice interviews here

— A prominent storyline of the spring will be how the offense progresses under new offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu. Whether the scheme is that much different than what Noel Mazzone had can be debated, but Jim Mora is adamant that it’s not as different as everyone’s making it out to be. The changes include a different snap count and an increased amount of time you’ll see Josh Rosen under center. The snap count changes made for an ugly first period of scrimmaging as there were likely more false starts than completed passes.

— Indeed there will be tight ends and fullbacks in this offense. At least one tight end was in almost every set. Nate Iese seems to be a top option right now, as the former fullback lined up with the No. 1 offense during the scrimmage periods. Giovanni Gentosi also lined up at tight end. Cameron Griffin and Ainuu Taua took snaps at full back.

— Mora said there were 20 snaps of a 3-4 defensive front during practice and downplayed the hubbub about making a big change to a 4-3 defense. He said the team played about 50 percent of its snaps with four down linemen last year, so it’s not a look the Bruins are unfamiliar with, he stressed. However, linebacker Jayon Brown said after practice that the team is focusing on the 4-3 front more in an effort to be better against the run.

— Freshman wide receiver Theo Howard had likely the catch of the day, making a great adjustment in the air to catch a back-shoulder pass over a defender.

— Eight other freshmen are on the spring camp roster: Linebackers Breland Brandt, Mique Juarez and Lokeni Toailoa, receivers Demetric Felton and Theo Howard, quarterback Matt Lynch, kicker JJ Molson, defensive lineman Nick Terry, defensive back Leni Toailoa.

Juarez worked into the second string linebacking unit, playing as an outside linebacker. He dropped into coverage and came off the edge. Mora said the North Torrance High alumnus did not look out of place, which is a good thing for an 18-year-old who just started college within the last 36 hours.

Molson connected on all four of his field goals.

— The first string offensive line looked like this (from left to right): Conor McDermott, Kenny Lacy, Scott Quessenberry, Poasi Moala, Kolton Miller

— DB Fabian Moreu, DB John Johnson, DL Eddie Vanderdoes, WR Mossi Johnson and OL Tevita Halalilo were all limited in practice as they’re working back from injuries. They worked out individually on the side of the field.

Tell me what you’re most curious about in practice and I’ll try to keep my best eye on it for the coming days.

Up next: Day 2 of practice, Thursday, 7 a.m., intramural field

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