Offensive lineman Kenny Lacy talks about playing both tackle and guard, battling with UCLA’s defensive linemen and how Sunny Odogwu improves the unit.
The Bruins wrapped up the first week of spring practice Saturday with their first practice in full pads.
Notes and observations:
— Jim Mora was happy with the team’s ability to practice safely in pads (i.e. minimal tackling to the ground, not going after collisions too aggressively, etc.) while still maintaining physicality and competitiveness.
— False starts continue to be a problem under the new snap counts, and Mora attributed it to “a lack of concentration.” The head coach noted that the problem generally improves as practice goes on, so he would like to see better concentration at the start of the session. Offensive lineman Kenny Lacy was probably the most penalized player on Saturday and spent a large amount of time running laps for false starting. Continue reading “Spring practice day 3: Bruins suit up in pads for first time” »
UCLA offensive lineman Alex Redmond has left the team and signed with an NFL agent, head coach Jim Mora said Tuesday.
The junior had been a mainstay on the Bruins’ offensive line ever since he arrived in 2013 as four-star recruit. He started all 13 games at right guard his first season, and was named a Freshman All-American. He started eight games in 2014, and 10 this fall.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Redmond will likely risk going undrafted.
His departure leaves the Bruins very thin at guard heading into Saturday’s kickoff against Nebraska in the Foster Farms Bowl. Redshirt sophomore Kenny Lacy is still limited with an ankle injury. Other options for the team are redshirt sophomore Poasi Moala and redshirt freshman Cristian Garcia.
The last time Simon Goines took the field for UCLA, he was part of an offensive line that included three true freshmen. Fast forward 16 months, and that picture has changed dramatically.
While the redshirt junior sat out all of the 2014 season recovering from leg injuries, the Bruins grew up in the trenches. Now practicing next to Goines on the first-string offensive line are a senior at center (Jake Brendel), a redshirt junior at left tackle (Conor McDermott), as well as a junior (Alex Redmond) and redshirt sophomore (Kenny Lacy) at left and right guard.
As a unit, the five have combined to start 89 games. That doesn’t even include two more starters from last season, Caleb Benenoch and Scott Quessenberry, who are recovering from offseason surgeries.
“It feels a lot different,” Goines said. “I don’t really have to say anything anymore. … I don’t have to make calls for everybody. It feels good.” Continue reading “UCLA’s Simon Goines eager for game action after leg injuries” »
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 …
UCLA is facing life without left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, set to become the school’s highest-drafted offensive lineman since Kris Farris went to the Pittsburgh Steelers as a third-round pick in 1999. And yet, the Bruins aren’t in bad shape without the man they voted their offensive MVP, one who earned the conference’s Morris Trophy as well as All-American nods.
No returning lineman is as versatile or mobile as Su’a-Filo, and not having a dynamic pulling guard will likely impact the Bruins’ running game. What should balance out his absence is a unit that is deeper and more experienced that it was a year ago — a continuing reclamation project sparked by 2013’s stud signing class. Continue reading “UCLA post-spring position outlook: Offensive line” »