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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UCLA spring camp notes: Steve Manfro to undergo knee procedure

» A few injury notes out of Thursday … Cornerback Ishmael Adams left the field yesterday looking like he’d slightly sprained his ankle, and spent today’s practice on the exercise bike.

Senior running back Steve Manfro is heading back to Westwood to get checked out after being bothered by both his shoulder and his knee. He had surgery on the latter after tearing his ACL in September, and will very likely have a minor procedure to shave off part of the meniscus. He’ll probably be sidelined through San Bernardino, but it’s not considered a serious setback.

» Josh Rosen had all the first-team reps today, and it turned out to be one of his roughest practices as a Bruin. He looked like he was forcing some deep balls in a way he didn’t do too much in spring, throwing one interception and a few others that were nearly picked off.

If he does win the starting job, there’ll definitely be at least one game where mistakes like that snowball; UCLA can only hope that that comes early in the season.

“I think he’s pushing to get better and he has a good grasp of the day,” head coach Jim Mora said. Continue reading

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Jim Mora wants to leave a ‘legacy’ with UCLA football

On Thursday morning, UCLA announced that Jim Mora and his family had given a significant donation to the Bruins’ new football facility, one that stood as the most ever by a sitting head coach.

Later that afternoon, the fourth-year coach talked about why he and his family decided to invest their own money into the program, and what it signaled about his commitment to UCLA.

“I would hope that it would put out any of those silly rumors that our opponents are using against us that I’m leaving,” he said. “I don’t know what more I can do to prove that I’m not leaving.” Continue reading

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