VIDEO: Mora On First Spring Practice

Coach Jim Mora talked about some personnel issues, with one former starter leaving the program, and how the team physically looks transformed...

Opening statement:
Torian White is no longer with our program. Aaron Wallace wasn't out here today, but we expect him out on Thursday. There are a couple of issues we're hoping to get cleaned up before he's out here. Malcolm Bunche, we're trying to get him through the enrollment process by Thursday, and out here at 4:30 on Thursday. You saw that Eddie Vanderdoes was on one of those three-wheelers. He broke his foot in the second to last week, so he'll miss spring but be ready for summer. Eric Kendricks did some work, he did the individual. And he did very well. We're just going to ease him back into it. We had some new faces out here. Adarius Pickett, Najee Toran. I thought those guys did a nice job here, especially having just gotten here on Sunday. And some other early enrollees were here, Ron Robinson. Zach Whitley. And then getting Mossi out here. The two young guys who really caught my eyes were Mossi, he caught a couple of balls and looked really athletic, and Zach. I don't want to instant evaluate but you can really see it, just with his knee bend and his lateral movement skills and his burst and ability to catch the ball. It was a good day for us. I was talking with Jake Brendel and we can kind of concurred that we've taken another step up, and we understand what the expectations are, what our expectations are, and work on our attitude. I thought today was a good first step. Certainly a lot of things that need to get corrected and improved, but we'll get that done over the course of spring. But I liked our attitude, I really liked the focus and concentration and the way they came out and worked. I think it's a good start, but it's only a start.

On Torian White:
I can't tell you those things, only that, by rule, he's no longer part of the team. All I can tell you is that he's no longer with the program.

On Aaron Wallace:
He's just got to get a few things cleared with the school, but no big deal, he should be out here on Thursday. Any time that things are on the line either way, we're going to go with caution, but it's not a big deal.

On Malcom Bunche:
He's just got to get through the admission process. He's a graduate of Miami. Getting into grad school here, getting into the right classes. He was in meetings yesterday and out here today, so hopefully he'll be out here Thursday. He's a big guy. Did you see him today? Big guy. Experienced. Smart too. He's a good kid. He'll help us a lot. I think the fat that he's been in a lot of games and been in big time games, with big time programs against big competition will really help us. We're still really young there. But you know Jake is going to be a three-year starter, he's no spring chicken. And those young guys have games under their belt. You could see it out there today, there was a comfort level and communication that wasn't there even last year. So I just think that we'll continue to grow in that area and Malcolm with his experience will really help.

On Poasi Moala:
Poasi has had a tremendous winter and he's made tremendous gains. We all recognize the athleticism and now he's got some size to him. It's been only one day, but he looks good and now we'll look at him to compete.

On Caleb Benenoch:
Caleb got those starts last year and played well, and was playing with a lot of confidence but still has a lot of room for growth. You've got to love Caleb and the way he's working to transform his body and working on his technique. He desires to be a better football player and that's what you're looking for.

On if Benenoch has made the biggest transformation:
No, Poasi did. We keep track of this. We have a set of values that we weigh them on and Poasi was one of the top guys on the team. Now, Caleb made great gains. They all made gains. We had a tremendous winter program. Coach Alosi does, I can't state this enough, the impact he has on this program. He does an amazing job and these guys have completely bought in with the culture he had in the weight room and out on the field. And you see it when we walk on the field, these guys look different. It's a credit to what those guys do, and it's also a credit to Coach Alosi. We don't worry about weight as much as lean muscle mass. If their 330 pounds and it's good weight, that's a positive. If they're 330 and it's all blubber, that's not. We look at lean muscle mass and weight strength ratio.

On biggest position battle:
I think it's natural to go to the spot that Anthony Barr left open. You saw Kenny Orjioke out there today, and see Aaron Wallace out there hopefully on Thursday. Today was a chance for Deon Hollins to get some reps. We worked Zach Whitley some inside but there is a chance he could move around and play outside. He's got strength and explosion. Outside linebacker to me is a position I'm interested in. Running back is a position I'm interested in. I want to see who steps up and fills the shoes of Shaq Evans. I think the backup quarterback position is one to look at because Jerry's not one to just let it go. We recognize Asiantii's potential and he just needs to perform. See who steps in to replace Xavier Su'a-Filo.

On Owa Odighizuwa's return:
It was great to have Owa back out there, fresh. He hasn't taken a snap since the Baylor game, any practice, or any game. You talk about Malcolm adding that veteran presence, getting a guy like Owa back, a fifth-year senior, that's a pretty big deal for us and you can't overstate it. He should be fresh. He hasn't taken a snap since Baylor. I say that in jest, because Owa is an extremely hard worker, and takes great care of his body, he was rested and fresh and ready to go. And anxious.

On Owa's short hair:
Initially, it was hard to recognize him, but we've gotten used to it. He's just got a great attitude and a great demeanor about him and he's a real positive presence on this team. We're lucky to have him back, he's going to help us.

On if their is a plan on offense to pick up the pace more in spring:
We'd like to. Today was ok. There is some new verbage, some new things we're doing, like every year. We'd like to move more effiicently and work at a quicker pace, but we'd like to change the tempo at times, slow it down, speed it up. Keep the defense guessing, try to substitute less and keep the defense on the field. Just the meer fact we've been together for a while and Brett has been here three years, will help us.

On what Brett Hundley can continue to improve on:
I think its just kind of the same things as last year, decision making, mastering the offense. Coming out here and being a consistent player, making the right reads, throwing to the right spot, making the right decision, handing it off. It's only one practice, but he looked fantastic today. The ball came out of his hand with velocity, he made all the throws. He worked hard this winter. I mean very hard. He spent a lot of time in the film room, and a lot of time in the field. It's going to pay off and I think is deserving of being the Heisman Trophy candidate that he is. He's a great football player. He was the biggest recruit of this past class. I think he took it up a whole bunch of notches. He's had the opportunity to spend some time this season talking with NFL quarterbacks, and how they prepare and their mindset, their routines, reading defenses. He's been religious about getting out here and throwing, grabbing the receivers. Those guys were out here every Saturday morning, throwing, every Tuesday and Thursday. He's been wearing Noel and Taylor out with regards to understanding this offenseThe plan is for him to spend more time with Coach Klemm to understand protection, spend time with Coach Ulbrich and Coach Martin to understand coverage concepts and what defenses are trying to do. Now that he has a better feel for defenses, he'll take it up another level. Spending time with NFL quarterbacks has been great for him.

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