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Spring Footbal Practice #1

  • I have only missed a handful of opening spring (fall) practice since I was an undergrad at UCLA. Today's practice threatened to break my streak. However, I scheduled a meeting in Westwood a month ago to coincide with practice, but the 7 AM.. 7 AM start time derailed my plan. But I was up so instead of exercising I headed to Spaulding.

    It's kind of random and just going by memory. If there are specific questions just ask.

    I both love and hate the first day of football practice.

    I LOVE to see who’s out there; who’s injured; who has changed physically

    I HATE that there are no pads (only helmets per NCAA acclimation requirement) and thus NO HITTING; I am a morning person but still HATE these early practices. I hated them when I played in high school and still not fond of it.

    First impression—as a group, they look “slimmer”. Normally I don’t pay attention to numbers I typically look for the bigger guys, but at first glance it was tough to distinguish linemen. They look thinner. It must be design.
    I focused on a few things…

    Who are the starters…

    No surprises there, it’s just as Coach Mora said. However, on offense in the scrimmage we had Torian White playing LT I think largely because Goines was injured. Sua Fil’o took some reps at LT as well while Conor McDermott took got the bulk of first team work at RT. He still needs to put on weight but he didn’t look horrible. He handled Aaron Wallace pretty well coming off the edge.

    Where was Fuller going to play?

    Devin Fuller was with the first group as a receiver. I think that’s where he will stay. However, he did take at least a few reps in the WILDCAT. I didn’t see where Hundley went in the wildcat. I was too focused on Fuller. He did not get an extended time at QB, only wildcat for a single play and then out.

    BACKUP QB BATTLE?

    My money was on Neuheisel and it still is. However, Milweard had some good moments. I think Neuheisel will prevail but against the second or possibly third team defense Milweard didn’t look horrible. Neuheisel looked good in the 7 on 7. My money goes on Neuheisel easily winning the back up job. Baby Neuheisel looks like he is getting bigger. Still needs to improve arms strength. I think the weakest arm of all the quarterbacks.

    Bret Hundley - Played fine—he threw a pick,

    I was curious about Dietrich Riley

    I saw Riley play in bowl game prep. He didn’t look like he had it. I didn’t think he had a chance of resuming his career. He still looks a bit stiff (to me) but he looks like he can play. He looked excited to be out there. It’s been a long time.

    Ellis McCarthy

    I did not know what MCarthay’s injury status was but he did not complete the entire practice. He walked off the field toward the locker room after an hour of practice. Pretty sure it was an injury. That’s a big dude. I think he should start at NT and possibly rotate to theo other positions.

    Running backs?

    Jordan looked okay. Perkins had one long run… He looks like he has good speed. I don’t recall Manfro getting any reps. Actually, as I recall he might be injured… (can’t remember if he wore a red jersey or not).

    Malcolm Jones looked pretty good. He got some reps with the special teams had a long catch and run. He looks solid.
    Corners?
    I want to say it was Jefferson and Adams who started at corner. Ishmael looks to be a player even if he is small.

    Kylie Fitts?
    I think he was a great “get”. But he doesn’t look to have the strength to compete this year. I would be surpirised if he didn’t redshirt. He has great upside but I think we have more players who can give more right now at defensive end.

    Starting at WR ?
    Shaq, Bell, Fuller, Payton - I think – I am not sure what happened with Lucien. Don’t recall him starting and don’t really remember him in the scrimmage.

    I thought it was a pretty good practice. Can't wait to see them go "live" on Saturday.

  • Thanks for the excellent report!

  • Good stuff. Heading to practice now. Will you be there? Perhaps we can meet up.