UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure talked about how impressive defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa looked in last weekend’s season opener at Virginia — but admitted he may have played the senior a little too much. He also reviewed the career debuts of true freshmen Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.
» Mossi Johnson appears to have avoided the worst. After leaving Monday’s practice with a left shoulder injury, he returned on Tuesday to participate in some light individual drills.
Head coach Jim Mora said Johnson — a surprise performer at inside receiver this spring — was diagnosed with a second-degree AC sprain. Johnson will likely be held out of full contact for two weeks, but an earlier return isn’t out of the question either.
In addition to being an obvious physical setback, a serious injury could have dealt a heavy emotional blow to a player that had already grayshirted the 2013 season to rehab multiple torn knee ligaments.
Elsewhere on the injury front, true freshman linebacker Cameron Griffin left Tuesday’s practice with a shoulder injury of uncertain severity. Linebacker Zach Whitley has been somewhat limited the first two days due to cramps.
» Tuesday’s best play can be credited to Myles Jack, who snatched a remarkable interception during one-on-one drills. Continue reading
Spring football is done, and over three months still stand between us and the start of UCLA’s third season under Jim Mora — one that comes with national title aspirations and accompanying media glare. Over the next week, this blog will cover each of the Bruins’ position groups. Next up …
The star power is there. Just look at Owamagbe Odighizuwa, the former five-star recruit who doesn’t look like he’s missed a step after hip surgeries. Or Eddie Vanderdoes, another five-star defensive end who more than lived up to the billing as a Freshman All-American. Or Kenny Clark, the mammoth nose tackle whom defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich already called one of the team’s best players.
The unit’s only significant loss was defensive end Cassius Marsh, who finished second on the team with 10.5 tackles for loss and even chipped in a two-yard touchdown catch. Tackle Seali’i Epenesa and sack specialist Keenan Graham also graduated, but both saw their roles dwindle to varying degrees toward the end of the season. Continue reading