Defensive lineman Rick Wade
Defensive lineman Keisean Lucier-South
Receivers coach Eric Yarber
Linebackers coach Scott White
UCLA has done this before. There was Darius Bell, who transferred in, switched positions, and left Westwood with 302 receiving yards and a touchdown. There is Devin Fuller, who ranked second on the team with 59 catches as a junior last season.
As far as quarterback-to-receiver projects go, the Bruins haven’t fared too badly. Next up is Aaron Sharp, who signed as a three-star recruit in 2014. After spotting as a scout-team target late last season, the Houston-area product has all but made the pass-catching transition final.
The Bell-Fuller-Sharp trio shares at least one physical trait, according to receivers coach Eric Yarber. Continue reading
— UCLA has given a different quarterback first-team reps in each of its four practices this spring. Monday was finally freshman Josh Rosen’s turn, and he looked like everything you’d expect out of a five-star recruit.
The freshman hit on five of his first six throws, with the one incompletion being a dropped pass by Thomas Duarte. But it was how those throws looked that was really impressive. A sampling of what he did during 11-on-11s: rolling out and zipping a ball about 15 yards to Duarte near the sideline early on his first drive; finding Tyler Scott open in the middle for what would have been a very long touchdown in a real game; airing a pass almost 40 yards downfield, again to Duarte.
For some reason, however, Rosen did look worse during one-on-ones and seven-on-sevens, missing more than a handful of passes.
Still, he is clearly the most talented player currently vying to become Brett Hundley’s successor. He’ll almost certainly take his lumps if he wins the job and starts against real competition, but so far in spring, he’s backing up the hype that followed him out of St. John Bosco.
— Mike Fafaul got second-team reps today, and actually showed a nice bit of oomph on some of his passes. Head coach Jim Mora said the staff will reevaluate the current structure of using two quarterbacks each practice both this Tuesday and early next week. Continue reading
» Head coach Jim Mora called UCLA’s Thursday afternoon session the team’s best practice yet in San Bernardino, pointing out the team’s improved athleticism along the front as well as its improved maturity.
Besides injury updates, Jim Mora spent the first 5:30 or so of Thursday’s interview scrum (video above) talking about the defensive line, and how having players like Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Kenny Clark, Eddie Vanderdoes and Ellis McCarthy was ideal for this year’s scheme.
» San Bernardino has been unseasonably cool this week, hovering mostly in the mid- to high 80s. Still, injuries have started to add up after four days in the Inland Empire.
The most serious injury right now is linebacker Cameron Griffin’s shoulder, which he landed on two days ago and has wrapped in a sling since. He’ll be examined further by doctors on Saturday.
“It doesn’t look like it’s real positive, but we’ll see,” Mora said. “Keep our fingers crossed.” Continue reading