UCLA fullback Nate Iese’s role expanding early in 2015

UCLA fullback Nate Iese is listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. UNLV cornerback Torry McTyer is 6-foot, 180.

So when the two collided during the second quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium, one of them plowed on through while the other went flying.

Did Iese feel the contact? “Um, no.”

Iese took off out of the flats twice before the end of the frame, going against McTyer for 9- and 15-yard gains. He ended the 37-3 win with 30 yards on three catches, and now has 73 receiving yards on the season. Perennially underused early in his career, the redshirt junior only had 70 yards on 12 catches all of last season — although two went for touchdowns.

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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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UCLA spring camp notes: Bruins wrap up last day at Spaulding Field

» For someone who has yet to play a down at UCLA, Asiantii Woulard’s career as a Bruin has seen its share of ups and downs. He committed late to the Bruins in the 2013 cycle, reputed to be a talented athlete but raw passer. Then, he opened eyes during the first week of preseason camp, making himself look like an underrecruited gem. And then, he faded — eventually hitting a wall that kept him from even being a backup last season.

So he deserves some credit for making a bit of noise this spring. Woulard had a rough start to spring camp, a stretch of the quarterback competition that was seized early by the precocious Josh Rosen. But halfway through, he finally broke out — completing what Jim Mora later called the best Woulard had looked in a UCLA jersey. (It’s worth mentioning that, on that day, Rosen still looked the best of the four quarterbacks.)

Since then, the 6-foot-3 quarterback has put together a decent — albeit still uneven — finish to his spring. Thursday’s morning practice was a microcosm of that. During 11-on-11s, Woulard made the best throw of the day by any UCLA passer: a bomb to Kenny Walker on a go route that he placed perfectly beyond cornerback Fabian Moreau. But a few minutes later, Woulard threw into the flat for what would have been a bad pick — had Johnny Johnson not let it bounce off his hands. Overall, however, the former four-star recruit is definitely trending up.

Taking into consideration everything that’s happened this spring, Josh Rosen still looks like the best choice to start at quarterback. Continue reading

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