UCLA camp notes: Jim Mora berates quarterback Josh Rosen

» UCLA’s practice on Wednesday morning was another uneven one for the offense, with quarterback Mike Fafaul throwing four interceptions in the span of about 10 minutes.

Still, it was true freshman Josh Rosen who got the biggest earful. The five-star quarterback out of Bellflower St. John Bosco was running situational drills at the end of practice when head coach Jim Mora took issue with his sense of “urgency.” Mora yelled at him for a few minutes, telling him he wasn’t in high school anymore before remarking, “The anointed one!”

The coach eventually turned toward reporters and said: “You can tell all your readers! This is why there’s no starter named!”

Rosen did not appear to say anything back. Safety Jaleel Wadood, who also played with Rosen in high school, figured the outburst wouldn’t be a major issue for the quarterback.

“He never gets rattled,” Wadood said. “That’s what I like about him the most. Even when things are going tough, and everything’s not going his way, he’ll find a way to dig it out. He’s a pretty strong kid.”

» Left tackle Conor McDermott (knee) and center Jake Brendel (calf) both dressed for practice today, but spent most of the time working on the exercise bike. The same goes for running back Bolu Olorunfunmi, who had a pack of ice wrapped around his right ankle after practice.

Defensive end Takkarist McKinley left with an undisclosed injury, and was sitting in the medical tent for part of practice.

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UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott undergoes MRI on knee

UPDATE: McDermott’s MRI showed no ligament damage.

UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee Tuesday evening, but the injury is not expected to be serious.

“He has no swelling,” said head coach Jim Mora. “He really has very little pain. He felt a tiny little pop, so we just wanted to get it checked out. … He’s got no instability. Nothing like that.”

McDermott went down during Monday night’s practice, but walked off the field without a significant limp. Jake Brendel and Alex Redmond were the other offensive linemen who were also left practice on Monday, but Mora said there are no injuries or issues concerning the latter. Brendel is day-to-day with a calf injury. Continue reading

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Jim Mora: UCLA is ‘no closer’ to finding a starting quarterback

Don’t expect UCLA to find a starting quarterback anytime soon.

“We are no closer,” head coach Jim Mora said Tuesday evening. “There’s nothing on the horizon in regards to a quarterback decision. I’m waiting to see somebody win the job. And nobody’s won it yet.”

More than halfway through preseason training camp, the Bruins have continued to rotate true freshman Josh Rosen and redshirt juniors Jerry Neuheisel and Mike Fafaul — declining to cut it down to even a two-man competition.

According to Mora, the quarterbacks are being constantly graded on various factors 24 hours a day. He would not say who was currently grading ahead, but insisted that the competition remains very close. Continue reading

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Jim Mora: Five-star tight end Chris Clark won’t redshirt

Five-star tight end Chris Clark has yet to practice with UCLA a week into training camp, but he could be ready by the Bruins’ season opener.

Head coach Jim Mora said on Saturday that the plan for Clark, who is suffering from mononucleosis, is for him to start doing some level of work next week. After that, he should be ready to play against Virginia on Sept. 5 at the Rose Bowl.

“That’s a tricky deal,” Mora said. “It’s more than just him feeling energy. They’ve got to make sure his spleen is OK.”

An enlarged spleen is one of the complications that can result from mononucleosis.

Mora also dismissed any chance of Clark sitting out the season entirely: “He’s playing versus Virginia. We didn’t bring him here to redshirt. I can promise you that.”

Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said earlier this week that without Clark, UCLA will implement a tight end role into its scheme with a combination of Thomas Duarte, Nate Iese and Colby Cyburt.

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