Monday Practice Report

The temperature climbs to 108, and many players go down with heat-related symptoms, but the quality of the practice continues to improve, and some freshman linebackers emerge...

It was another improved practice Monday, even though temperatures were hovering around 108 degrees and the players were in shoulder pads and shorts.

There were some considerable hydration problems, with as many as seven players falling out of practice because of heat-related issues.

Perhaps the biggest name sitting out because of heat-related symptoms was Tevin McDonald, who didn't even dress.

Coach Jim Mora addressed the heat and hyrdration subject in the post-practice video that will be up on the site momentarily.

The most significant non-heat problem was with Sam Tai, who Mora announced tore his ACL and is out for the year. The coach also said tests were still being conducted on Torian White.

Ricky Marvray continued to practice in the red, no-hit jersey.

It was the first real day that freshman kicker Kaimi Fairbairn actually kicked field goals. He made four extra points, missed one, which hit the upright, made two 27-yarders, made a 37-yarder and then had a 42-yarder blocked by Anthony Barr, on a kick that Roosevelt Davis could have blocked.

There are some clear frontrunners among the punt returners, if you're just going by the guys who can field the ball cleanly. Steven Manfro is easily the best at catching the ball, and Jordon James is next. Shaquelle Evans fumbled a punt and then caught one above his head, and then freshman Fabian Moreau misjudged a couple.

The defense, of course, looked very good, which is expected, given it was the third day of fall camp. It had its typical pressuring of the quarterback, making it difficult to get a pass off in 11-on-11. But as practice wore on, the quarterbacks settled down and started throwing more consistently. Brett Hundley still threw the ball with the most consistent accuracy, but this was a day when Richard Brehaut made somewhat of a comeback. It wasn't even as good as he usually has been in practice in recent years, but it was at least better than he's been in the first two days in San Bernardino. On Monday he could throw spirals. Kevin Prince was perhaps a little better himself, and Jerry Neuheisel threw a few more good balls and less poor ones. Overall, the quarterbacks as a group were more consistent and productive. At one point in practice, Hundley, Prince, Brehaut and Neuheisel broke off from the other three quarterbacks, and it's obvious that these are the four that will make up the depth chart for the season.

The starting offensive line remained the same, with Xavier Su'a-Filo, Greg Capella, Jacob Brendel, Jeff Baca and Brett Downey. Capella and Downey both missed a big portion of practice because of heat-related symptoms, and Albert Cid and Will Oliver subbed in for them. Simon Goines also went out and was carted away because of the heat. At one point, Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm only had 10 offensive linemen.

It's really uncanny how consistently good Darius Bell, the converted back-up quarterback, has been day in and day out at the F receiver. He did it again Monday and it's really getting to the point where you have to be confident he'll be able to do it in games.

There were quite a few one-on-one sessions, which are always interesting and revealing. The running backs went up against the linebackers, and Johnathan Franklin proved to be the best-blocking tailback, while fullback David Allen was also a formidable blocker. Eric Kendricks consistently won his rep, Anthony Barr had a few good reps, Aramide Olaniyan is consistently tough to contain, and among the most impressive was freshman linebacker Nate Iese.

Iese and fellow freshman linebacker Kenny Orjioke are physically impressive, both about 6-4, with Iese thicker but both being agile athletes. They've really done well in the drills, and in the team portions, especially Iese, who actually got a pick in a one-on-one passing drill, which is not easy for a linebacker. With some thinness at linebacker it would be easy to project these two having a good chance at playing this season, along with Aaron Porter.

Jordan Zumwalt had another big day, blowing up a number of plays for a loss. He's looked good in each of the first three practices. The word is that the somewhat offbeat kid has matured and is taking football quite a bit more seriously.

The defensive backs had a good day as a whole, with some of the youngsters having a few good moments. Marcus Rios had a couple of very good break-ups, and Ishmael Adams picked off a pass when he wrestled it away from his high school teammate, Jordan Payton, and both look to be in the conversation in terms of the two-deep.

Upland defensive lineman Joe Mathis attended practice.


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