Saturday Morning Practice Report

Some players return to the field, the OL is still very depleted, and it's the first practice with a named starting quarterback...

The first practice Saturday was in no pads, and the weather wasn't too overbearing, at least compared to previous days in San Bernardino.

A number of players, too, returned to the field, but a few then left also.

Safety Dalton Hilliard, linebackers Patrick Larimore, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt, receiver Javon Williams, and offensive linemen Alexandru Ceachir, Alberto Cid, Simon Goines, Jeff Baca, Michael Padovese and Will Oliver weren't on the field.

Offensive lineman Greg Capella returned, but then experienced some lingering dizziness, and stopped practicing. Offensive lineman Tre Hale again ended up in the training tent, with heat-related symptoms. Receiver Kenny Walker attempted a few periods but then was in the tent with a tightness in his hamstring. Malcolm Jones ran on the side of practice.

Coach Jim Mora addressed the injured in the post-practice video interview that will be up on the site soon.

Beside it being the first practice after Brett Hundley was named the starting quarterback, the most noteworthy aspect of Saturday morning was more attrition on the offensive line. At one point, OL coach Adrian Klemm had just seven offensive linemen: Xavier Su'a-Filo, Brett Downey (who returned and participated in the entire practice), Ben Wysocki, Conor McDermott, Kody Innes, Jake Brendel and Carl Hulick.

The #1 OL was Su'a-Filo, Hulick, Brendel, Wysocki and Downey by the end of practice.

Probably the next most significant development were some players beginning go to through the NCAA attrition process. Defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy and offensive linemen Torian White and Colby Cyburt were in shoulder pads going through conditioning on the side. It's been discovered that White has a heart condition, has been cleared, but will need a "procedure," according to Mora (also included in post-practice interview).

The practice being the first with Hundley as the first-string quarterback, the coaches and players thought there wasn't much difference, even though it did look like Hundley received a few more reps and they installed some plays tailored for him. In fact, one period of what looked like offensive installation displayed a variety of plays that were pretty exciting.

The quarterbacks generally had a good day. Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut didn't look phased by not being named the starter and actually threw the ball well. It appeared that Brehaut was getting the second-most reps. Hundley, actually, after starting off strongly, faltered a bit down the stretch with some errant throws. He missed Jerry Johnson twice in the two-minute period that closed practice. To Hundley's defense, though, he's suffering from some cold symptoms, which would be pretty debilitating in 102-degree heat. He did throw a few nice balls, one in particular, on a throw down the field in which he hit Steven Manfro in stride for a touchdown.

In punt and kickoff return, Damien Thigpen is now part of the returners group, and he looked very good. We didn't see freshman Devin Fuller among the returners today.

In fact, Thipgen looked very explosive carrying the ball from the tailback position on offense, too.

On defense, the linebacking unit is fairly depleted, with two starters (Zumwalt and Kendricks) out. The starting inside linebackers were Damien Holmes and Ryan Hofmeister, and outside were Anthony Barr and Keenan Graham. Nate Iese continues to get more time at that hybrid DE/LB spot behind Graham.

It's also looking like Ishmael Adams is going to definitely be a part of of the plans in the secondary.

Freshman placekicker Kaimi Fairbairn looked good, hitting a 45-yarder right down the middle during the two-minute. Justin Moreno missed a 45-yarder but then made a 42-yarder.

To end practice, the team worked on late-game situations, like Hail Marys.

Tonight's second practice has been moved to 6:00 p.m.


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