UCLA spring practice standouts

Spring standouts for UCLA include Takkarist McKinley (top left) and Kenny Walker (far right). Photos by Brad Graverson and Thomas R. Cordova, Daily Breeze/Press-Telegram

Spring standouts for UCLA include Takkarist McKinley (top left) and Kenny Walker (far right). Photos by Brad Graverson, Thomas R. Cordova and Michael Owen Baker (Daily Breeze/Press-Telegram)

Spring camp is over and while we wait for the Bruins to resurface in San Bernardino, we’ll get to breaking down what happened over the past month of practice.

First, here are three things we learned and three things we’re left wondering about after 15 practices.

Second, if you missed any coverage from spring, you can find links to all the blog/Daily News stories in the week 4 wrap up.

Now finally, here are some players who stood out during spring and you should look out for when fall camp rolls around:

OFFENSE

Kenny Walker (left) makes a catch during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 23. Photo by Michael Owen Baker.

Kenny Walker (left) makes a catch during the Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 23. Photo by Michael Owen Baker.

Receiver Kenny Walker

I distinctly remember my first time watching Walker. It was last year’s season opener in the Rose Bowl when he dropped Josh Rosen’s flawless first-career passing attempt. It was a pretty big let-down.

Walker said he has worked tirelessly to change his perception as a fast receiver who can’t catch, and it showed during spring. He had some of the best plays of the day during the Spring Showcase, including a great over-the-shoulder catch near the sideline during seven-on-sevens. Continue reading

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Defense under Tom Bradley focuses on stopping run

Defensive lineman Eli Ankou, left, and linebacker Jayon Brown work on their selfie game after practice on Tuesday. The two are two leaders on the UCLA defense this season. Photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze/SCNG

Defensive lineman Eli Ankou, left, and linebacker Jayon Brown work on their selfie game after practice on Tuesday. The two are two leaders on the UCLA defense this season. Photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze/SCNG

Tom Bradley returns for his second year as UCLA defensive coordinator and a main concern for him and head coach Jim Mora will be solidifying the rushing defense.

The defense lined up mostly in a 4-3 formation during Tuesday’s practice and the shift could go a long way toward solving UCLA’s inconsistent performances against the run last year. However, Mora, linebacker Jayon Brown and defensive tackle Eli Ankou maintained that the changes are minor. Ankou called it “window dressing.”

“You go point A to point B,” he said. “You just play the game. I wouldn’t say it’s much different.” Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jim Mora, Josh Rosen talk first day of spring practice

UCLA opened spring practice today. As you would expect on the first day, it was sloppy at times, especially during the 11-on-11 scrimmage periods, but there are 14 more practices to iron out those mistakes. Here are some post-practice comments from head coach Jim Mora, quarterback Josh Rosen, linebacker Jayon Brown, offensive lineman Conor McDermott and defensive lineman Eli Ankou.

Head coach Jim Mora

QB Josh Rosen


DL Eli Ankou


LB Jayon Brown


OL Conor McDermott

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UCLA-USC rivalry roundup: Terry Donahue, Gary Beban look back on Bruin careers

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here’s some of our UCLA and rivalry coverage this week.

» Terry Donahue was at UCLA for 20 years, but still thinks he left too early.
» Heisman winner Gary Beban reflects on the 1966 Rose Bowl, as well as the UCLA-USC rivalry.
» The Minnesota Vikings have five players from UCLA, and three from USC. Former Bruin linebacker Anthony Barr: “It’s pretty incredible when you think about it.”
» Reggie Bush still looms over the UCLA-USC recruiting battle, even 10 years after his last college game.
» Actors Timothy Olyphant (USC ’90) and Will Forte (UCLA ’93) teamed up to help raise money for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, appearing in a video that will play during Saturday’s game.
» Linebacker Jayon Brown has developed into a valuable player for a banged-up UCLA defense.
» Former UCLA walk-on Bob Myers, 40, has become one of the forces behind the Golden State Warriors.

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