VIDEO: Marques Tuiasosopo, Kolton Miller, Poasi Moala

Quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo talks about his seven (!) quarterbacks, the competition for the backup spot, and what impresses him about Mike Fafaul, Devon Modster and Matt Lynch.


Offensive lineman Kolton Miller talks about the offseason conditioning program and his title as Conor McDermott‘s “mini me.”


Offensive lineman Poasi Moala talks about his haircut, his new-found focus and the unity on the offensive line.

Also, apologies for the extraordinarily low-quality videos today. My phone was having a rough day in the sun.

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UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott out with knee injury against Cal

UCLA’s starting left tackle Conor McDermott is out with a sprained knee for the Bruins’ 6 p.m. kickoff against Cal.

Head coach Jim Mora had ruled the redshirt junior had been ruled “very questionable” to play earlier this week. McDermott had practiced sparingly leading up to Thursday, leaving each practice early to receive treatment.

Redshirt freshman Kolton Miller is in line for his first career start in McDermott’s stead. Starting right guard Alex Redmond, who suffered a hand injury at Stanford last week, is also ready to play.

Outside linebacker Deon Hollins (knee) was dressed for warm-ups as well, but backup running back Nate Starks (head) was not.

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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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UCLA camp notes: Running back Soso Jamabo takes Wildcat snaps

» UCLA has a clear-cut No. 1 option in Paul Perkins, who said his goals this season are to be the nation’s top tailback and to win a national championship. That’s allowing the Bruins to give even first-team reps with some of the newer players.

Two days into camp, the main beneficiary has been five-star running back Soso Jamabo. On Tuesday, he not only got a healthy share of time on the first and second string, but even took five or six snaps out of Wildcat.

Perkins generously compared Jamabo’s running style to that of Eric Dickerson on Monday, and offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch followed with some praise of his own: “Soso is just unbelievably talented. … I’m eager to see what he does in pads.”

Jamabo honestly hasn’t quite matched his recruiting hype on the field, but it’s still fairly early in camp and UCLA doesn’t need instant production from him. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him become more of a pass-catcher than a workhorse runner, but offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said he doesn’t foresee any position changes for the 6-foot-3, 210-pound back.

» Chris Clark remains sidelined with mononucleosis, but Mazzone said that won’t affect UCLA’s implementation of a new tight end package. Nate Iese, Thomas Duarte, Colby Cyburt, Tyler Scott are the options there for now, which sounds similar to the rotation UCLA used at Y-receiver.

“We’re kind of going back to the old Joe Fauria days, when we had that big joker,” Mazzone said. “We’re going to be able to put some things in that we haven’t been able to run the last couple of years, because of the lack of a guy at that position.”

Freshman Aaron Sharp also got some first-team reps at Y-receiver. Continue reading

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