Report, Video from First Practice

UCLA begins fall camp in San Bernardino, and there is a clear attempt to establish a tone and atmosphere. It was definitely a first practice -- so it was sloppy -- but there were some highlights...

The UCLA football team took the field at Cal State San Bernardino for the first day of "fall training," as Head Coach Jim Mora called it.

It was an overall sloppy practice, which is what you might expect, given it's the first of the fall, the team is getting acclimated in a new environment and the heat.

The heat, actually, wasn't that bad, about 85 degrees, but there were some hydration issues with a number of players. It doesn't necessarily bode well, since the weather forecast for the week is considerably hotter – during practices twice a day.

The tempo wasn't quite like it was in spring – at least the beginning of spring. And it appeared the coaches were in an ornery and somewhat sarcastic mood.

The biggest news was freshman defensive end Jeremy Castro has not yet been cleared by the NCAA Clearing House, and isn't yet in camp. It's a curious development, since he was enrolled in summer school.

Tight end John Young tore his patellar tendon and is out for the season.

Linebacker Eric Kendricks experienced cramps, according to Mora. The head coach addressed all of the injury issues in his video interview.

The quarterbacks didn't have a good day – but again it was the first day. Kevin Prince took the first reps, and actually looked solid. Brett Hundley took most of the second-team throws and probably looked the best and most consistent on the day. Jerry Neuheisel was third up, and had a few moments but was also shakey at times. Richard Brehaut looked very poor, throwing very fluttery, inaccurate balls. True freshman T.J. Millweard looked about the same as he did in spring, even though he appears to have gotten in better shape. True freshman Devin Fuller looked fairly small, probably 5-11, and pretty slight, and struggled throwing the ball considerably, with a long motion and a lack of arm strength.

In the 11-on-11s at the end of practice Hundley didn't get a series.

It was, as I said, the first day.

Since you can't take too much from the players' performance, it was mostly a day for eyeball evaluations.

Some physical impressions:

-- Kendricks looks physically bigger, but leaner. He actually looks like he was wearing pads, even though it was a padless day.

- Paul Perkins, the freshman running back, looks to be about 5-10 to 5-11 and built well. Fabian Moreau, who worked in with the running backs (even though we've been told he'll be a hybrid F-back type), looks to be a little taller, probably 5-11+, but a little leaner.

-- Freshman receiver Javon Williams is a legit 6-4, but very thin, so much so that it looks awkward when he runs.

-- Offensive lineman Brett Downey looked considerably bigger.

-- Freshman safety Kenny Orjioke doesn't look like a safety, at 6-4.

-- Freshman receiver Kenny Walker looks to be about 5-10+.

-- Offensive lineman Albert Cid looked like he was in better shape.

-- Nose tackle Brandon Willis looked a little bigger physically.

The standout player for the day was probably Joseph Fauria. The 6-8 Y receiver looked like he wasn't hampered by the weather and was catching balls all over the field. He exploited match-ups against smaller defenders, and welcomed Ishmail Adams to college football when he plucked a ball over his head.

Jerry Johnson exploited Justin Combs in the same manner.

Ricky Marvray looked quick and in good form, in the drills he was allowed to do.

Devin Lucien probably made the catch of the day, reeling in a post when he was covered well by Sheldon Price, catching the ball and then crashing into the fans sitting in lawn chairs along the edge of the practice field.

Jordan Payton made a nice catch, wrestling the ball away from Price, on one play, and generally was hustling.

Darius Bell made a nice one-handed catch.

There were quite a few drops, however, among the receivers.

In the running back group, Johnathan Franklin didn't looked phased by the heat. He had a nice swing pass that he took up the sideline for about 20+. Malcolm Jones got in a scuffle with Devin Hester after a nice stiff arm to the face mask. Damian Thigpen had a couple of explosive runs. The freshman Perkins looked good, especially for a first day, finding some daylight. He has a good running style, running particularly low to the ground.

The starting offensive line was from left to right, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Cid, Jacob Brendel, Jeff Baca and Brett Downey, but Greg Capella worked in some at left guard.

There was a pretty big scare when Su'a-Filo went down, but it was only due to cramps.

The defense, of course, looked ahead of the offense. It's not exactly fair when Defensive Coordinator Lou Spanos is blitzing in the 11-on-11s on the first day of fall camp, but it certainly makes the defense look good. Jordan Zumwalt had a couple of virtual sacks; Anthony Barr had a nice block of a pass on a blitz. Datone Jones and Cassius Marsh had a couple of rushes and virtual tackles for loss. Kendricks had a few tackles for loss and looked like the best defensive player on the field.

In the secondary, Andrew Abbott picked off Hundley. Hester had a couple of good breaks on balls. Safety Tevin McDonald looked filled out a little more through the shoulders and looked good in drills.

Adams was playing with the 2s, as was Marcus Rios.

UCLA-committed defensive lineman Kenneth Clark watched practice.

Lacy Westbrook, the offensive lineman that is grayshirting, but then suffered a brain aneurysm, attended practice.




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