Receivers Ricky Marvray and Jerry Rice Jr. will transfer for their senior year of eligibility after graduating from UCLA. Marvray had 20 receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman, but only caught three passes in 10 games last season. Rice, the son of the Hall of Fame receiver, had only nine career catches.
Linebacker and special teams player Todd Golper also graduated, although he had treated all of last season as his last and was included during in-game senior ceremonies.
Freshman wide receiver Ricky Marvray had a tough day on Friday.
On one play, he muffed a punt, gobbled it in the end zone and, rather than take the touchback, ran it back out.
Then he fumbled the ball.
A coach then chewed him out.
“What was the first thing you did wrong? What was the second? What was the third? Now you know. That’s why we’re out here. … Now give me 25 up-downs.”
To Marvray’s credit, he did not hang his head low, and was eager to get back on the field, though he would add another fumble and a dropped pass.
On Thursday’s practice:
“Obviously there is a lot to get in when you’re getting ready for a game. Dress rehearsals and so forth. You’ve got all sorts of situations to cover, especially with such a young team. (Practice) took longer than maybe I wanted, especially in this heat. It’[s stuff you got to do, and I’m glad we got it done.”
On how much of San Diego State’s game plan is installed:
“Less than 50 percent. I don’t think you put things in too early, it gets stale. But we’ll be ready, and the kids will be excited and we’ll execute it well.”
On Randall Carroll and Ricky Marvray:
“They’ve been terrific. They’ve worked hard. This is a huge culture change, from high school to college. To mature as fast as we’re asking them to do is not an easy thing to accomplish. They’re buying in, they’re asking the right questions, and there energy level is great.”
Kevin Prince on study partner Ricky Marvray:
“Ricky Marvray has been making plays all camp long. He’s just a real persistent guy; he came and studied ion my room last night for an hour. He’ll ask question after question after question until I don’t even want to talk to him anymore. He’ll call me at midnight, ask me questions that can totally wait til morning, but he wants those answers. His desire to be the best is something that’s going to get him some playing time.”
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Grade: B (Tight ends, A+++)
High Marks: Though victims to some overthrows, the wide receiver corps did a fine job getting off the line of scrimmage and challenging a very tough defense. In a scrimmage situation, it’s very difficult to distinguish star from scrub, particularly at wideout, but the first unit is full of talent. Ricky Marvray earned playing time with a great block on Joseph Fauria’s 60-yard touchdown catch. At tight end, UCLA simply has an overabundance of skill.
Low Marks: Randall Carroll dropped an easy pass and looked down-trodden afterward, although several Bruins rushed to reassure him. The grade would have been higher, but no UCLA player had more than three catches, and Fauria had the only big play.
High Marks: Kevin Prince was effective in spurts and seems to have learned to check down to lower options. He was impressive in the flats, though he did not challenge the first-string defense deep very often. Nick Crissman had a beautiful pass to tight end Joseph Fauria – who broke a tackle and received an incredible block from freshman wide receiver Ricky Marvray on his way to a 60-yard touchdown.
Low Marks: Prince was inconsistent, with a handful of overthrows and two atrocious throws. One, off his backfoot facing pressure, was intercepted. The other, a near-pick in the back of the end zone. Prince finished the afternoon just 9-for-19 for 77 yards and an inteception.
Freshman wideout Randall Carroll (Cathedral High) has been one of the guys to watch during the first two days. His speed had Coach Rick Neuheisel talking, but it’s his hands that has Carroll talking.
“I’m running a lot more simple routes, routes that Terrence Austin and everybody else get to run,” Carroll said. “Not just the deep ball. Me out here showing my hands, it’s proving I can do it out on the field.”
Carroll’s speed has been well-documented: He was ranked as the No. 4 athlete by Rivals.com and was on several top-100 lists.
Along with fellow incoming freshman Ricky Marvray (Centennial High), UCLA has a pair of speedy newcomers…