Here is my main story from the opening day of training camp: Josh Rosen is growing, learning and leading in his second year with UCLA.
Here are video interviews for the day:
- Head coach Jim Mora
- Rosen, Soso Jamabo and Scott Quessenberry
- Eli Ankou, Jaleel Wadood and Kenny Young
And here are notes and observations from the day:
- No pads for the opening day of practice: just helmets.
- Soso Jamabo took the first reps at running back. Bolu Olorunfunmi caught a few passes out of the back field and had two good runs during the 9-on-7 periods when he got good blocking from tight end Nate Iese and fullback Cameron Griffin.
- Devon Modster took the third-string QB reps during his first-ever UCLA practice and had a few flashes of brilliance. He had a great long completion to freshman tight end Jordan Wilson (aided by an athletic fingertip catch from Wilson) and a dime to freshman receiver Theo Howard. Modster threw a great pass to Howard and dropped it right into his hands over the defense in stride.
- Rosen admitted that he felt a little flustered in the pocket toward the beginning of the team periods. He had his first pass of each team period batted down by Takkarist McKinley.
- Deon Hollins also had a good day getting to the quarterback. He first jarred the ball loose while Mike Fafaul was attempting a pass then had a virtual sack on Fafaul later. Although Hollins got there, the play continued and Fafaul completed a pass to Ishmael Adams.
- First-string offensive line from left to right: Conor McDermott, Kenny Lacy, Scott Quessenberry, Poasi Moala and Kolton Miller.
- Second-string offensive line from left to right: Cristian Garcia, Najee Toran, Gyo Shojima, Josh Wariboko-Alali and Andre James.
- First-string defensive line from left to right: Matt Dickerson, Eli Ankou, Eddie Vanderdoes and McKinley.
- Fullback Ainuu Taua is proving to be a surprising threat catching the ball in the flat. The 294-pound former defensive lineman caught a pass and ran over Keyon Riley while rumbling down the sideline. Taua lost his helmet in the collision but kept on running toward the end zone. When asked of the play later, Mora recalled that Taua had a similar play during spring when he caught the ball and ran over a teammate.
- Marcus Rios, who missed some of spring camp with an injury, helped force an interception during 7-on-7s as he tipped a ball from Fafaul away from the receiver and toward Josh Woods, who picked it off.
- Both J.J. Molson and Andrew Strauch were 3-for-3 on their field goals.