Monday Practice Report

UCLA's backup quarterback situation entered a state of flux on Monday, and Deon Hollins had a nice practice, getting a sack...

The biggest news from Monday was the transfer of redshirt freshman quarterback T.J. Millweard. The odd thing about the transfer is that Millweard looked like perhaps the front runner for the No. 2 spot, with Taylor Mazzone saying that every rep he took was with the No. 2 offense. With Millweard gone, the two vying for the backup job will be Jerry Neuheisel and Mike Fafaul, with Asiantii Woulard slated to redshirt the season. Fafaul has probably had a better fall up to this point.

Eddie Vanderdoes sat out practice after sitting out Saturday morning as well, but Mora said afterward that it was strictly precautionary. He said that they expect Vanderdoes to be able to play 30 snaps versus Nevada in the opener.

Mora also announced that Jeremy Castro, who wasn't cleared by the university heading into the fall, has elected to transfer. Reports are that he will enroll at Hawaii.

Eric Kendricks did more today, and looks like he's on a good timetable for recovery. He once again participated in skeleton drills, after doing the same on Saturday. He had just a few reps in team drills, which gave Isaac Savaiinaea more time with the 1s, alongside Jordan Zumwalt (and, briefly, Myles Jack). Poasi Moala also returned to practice, and ran with the 2s at right tackle, with Conor McDermott handling the No. 2 reps at left tackle. It has to be said again—McDermott looks pretty good. He moves his feet well, has good technique, and seems both strong enough to hold up defensive ends and quick enough to get in front of rushers like Kenny Orjioke.

Simon Goines still sat out because of his knee injury and, once again, UCLA moved Xavier Su'a-Filo to left tackle and slotted Kenny Lacy in at left guard. Additionally, Caleb Benenoch sat out the day with the flu, so Carl Hulick moved into his spot at right guard. The rest of the line remained the same.

Seali'I Epenesa worked in with the 1s at nose tackle, with Ellis McCarthy mostly getting reps with the 2s. They've been handing off the baton seemingly every other practice, so we'll wait and see if the reps remain divided that way. With Vanderdoes still out, Keenan Graham was once again the left defensive end with the first string defense.

There was an incredible sequence of plays during 1 on 1 drills that deserve a mention. On the first play, Ishmael Adams was covering downfield on a seam pass, and he covered so well that he was able to tip the ball out of the receiver's hands and make a diving interception. On the very next play, Myles Jack did nearly the exact same thing, only it was more impressive because, once again, Jack is 6'2, 230 pounds. Fabian Moreau had a pass breakup immediately afterward, where he showed great coverage skills, that seemed pedestrian by comparison.

Marcus Rios and Owamagbe Odighizuwa made it out to practice, and it looked like Brandon Tuliaupupu was watching from the stands.

Mora said that Ian Taubler may be a candidate for a redshirt after suffering a concussion in San Bernardino. Taubler had another concussion last fall camp, and the combination is a worry for the coaching staff. Taubler is in the process of making the switch to defensive end after playing tight end last year.

Deon Hollins had a nice sack during team drills, and got into the backfield frequently. He has one really plus skill in that his speed allows him to beat offensive tackles into the backfield. Mora said after practice that he'll almost certainly see the field this year, since his speed from that position is something they just don't have.

Thomas Duarte made a couple of non-spectacular, but still pretty tough catches during team drills. He has really natural hands, and a good instinct for catching the ball. There was one really tough catch over the middle during a team period where he had to stretch his entire frame to make a finger-tip catch.

At the other slot position, Darren Andrews looks destined to make an impact this year. He has the speed to get open downfield and the quickness to get open in the flats. You have to figure that if there's a possibility of getting he and Devin Fuller on the field at the same time, the coaching staff will take it, since that leaves two guys who have the quickness to get open on short routes against nearly any coverage.

Jordon James had a fumble during team drills, and Paul Perkins had arguably his best day of the camp, so we probably shouldn't say that competition is quite over yet. Perkins had a nice 60 yard run for a score where he made one nice cut and got into the secondary, where he beat the safety to the endzone.

Jerry Neuheisel threw a couple of picks during the practice, and seems to be making a few more mistakes per practice than he was making last year, trying to force the ball a little too much. One interception he threw into the corner of the endzone had no chance of getting to the receiver, who was double covered. Tahaan Goodman came over and somewhat casually picked the ball off.

Ahmaad Harris had a nice day, taking a swing pass from Neuheisel deep downfield. He's had a decent camp, even if he doesn't project as being a real contributor down the road.

Practice tomorrow will be at 8:30 AM and 6 PM, and these will be the last two open practices of the fall.

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