UCLA receiver Devin Fuller to participate in NFLPA Bowl

UCLA wide receiver Devin Fuller (7) catches a pass for yardage against Arizona State in the first half of a NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

UCLA receiver Devin Fuller (7) has accepted an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. He made 24 catches for 259 yards and three touchdowns in the 2015 regular season. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA receiver Devin Fuller has accepted an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, one of several games that help players showcase themselves for pro teams.

Limited by head and ankle injuries in the latter half of his senior campaign, Fuller finished the regular season with 24 catches for 259 yards and three touchdowns. That included a career performance against Cal, in which he had seven receptions for 100 yards and two scores. He was also on the receiving end of quarterback Josh Rosen’s first career touchdown, a four-yard pass in the Bruins’ season-opening win over Virginia.

Fuller showed some promise as a returner as well, totaling 552 yards on 29 tries taking back kicks and punts.

The list of the first 23 players slated to play in the NFLPA Bowl also includes former UCLA offensive tackle Torian White, who transferred to Hampton. White was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on Nov. 17, 2013 and never rejoined the team. UCLA dismissed him from school entirely in May 2014, after the university found him responsible for two instances of sexual misconduct.

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UCLA RB Paul Perkins, Nate Starks ‘on track’ to face Colorado

UCLA will likely have its top two running backs in uniform again against Colorado this weekend.

Paul Perkins, who was the Pac-12’s leading rusher in 2014, and backup Nate Starks have recovered from their injuries enough to suit up for Saturday’s noon kickoff, head coach Jim Mora said Thursday.

“I would assume that both of them would play,” he said. “It looks like they’re both on track to play. I’m not too worried. I was more worried about Paul earlier in the week, but he’s done fine.”

Perkins injured his left knee in the second quarter of last week’s 40-24 win over Cal, after running for 73 yards on 11 carries. Starks was sidelined with a concussion that he sustained two weeks ago at Stanford.

How much the two backs play remains to be seen. The Buffaloes have what is statistically the weakest rushing defense in the Pac-12, allowing 209.5 yards per game and an average of 5.06 yards per carry. Continue reading

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Dymond Lee commits to UCLA as a dual-threat quarterback

UCLA needs to fill out its quarterback depth chart. And it’s going to try and do so with one of the state’s best receiver prospects.

West Hill Chaminade’s Dymond Lee committed to the Bruins’ 2016 class on Wednesday, telling Bruin Report Online that he was doing so as a passer rather than a pass-catcher. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Lee is ranked a four-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com, with the latter slotting him as one of the top 30 national prospects at receiver.

This is an interesting verbal commitment for several reasons — not least of which being Lee’s limited game experience behind center. Primarily a receiver at Chaminade, he was second on the team with 616 yards and 33 catches. He also rushed for 117 yards on 16 carries.

When he did line up as a quarterback in a Wildcat package, he usually took off running. As a junior, Lee only threw 10 passes all season, completing six of them for 97 yards. He is expected to play more quarterback as a senior. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Receivers

UCLA's Mossi Johnson catches a pass during spring football practice on April 2 at Spaulding Field.(Andy Holzman/Staff)

UCLA’s Mossi Johnson catches a pass during spring football practice on April 2 at Spaulding Field.(Andy Holzman/Staff)

UCLA has not produced a 1,000-yard receiver since 2011. Looking at the state of the Bruins’ offense, it’s a good bet that the drought will extend for another season.

Such is the nature of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s scheme. For three years, UCLA has divvied up targets between bevy of receivers, racking up significant total yards without creating a dominant No. 1 wideout. In 2014, Jordan Payton became the first Bruin to record more than 60 catches in the Jim Mora era; that same season, 12 others in the Pac-12 cleared that same threshold.

Payton might crack four-digit yardage as a senior, but the chemistry he built with Brett Hundley might not necessarily carry over when UCLA picks a new starter. (Even last year, Payton’s production tailed off as the season progressed; he didn’t top 58 yards or catch a single touchdown in his last four games.) This is not to say that the receiving corps are in any real trouble. After all, they return all but one member, and add a few others. Continue reading

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