Great First Day of Camp

The team moves to nice facilities at Cal State Fullerton under stifling heat, and the quarterbacks continue to shine, both the defense and the offense have moments, and the team generally looks very good. A few line recruits make appearances, too...

UCLA practice shifted to "The O.C." as fall camp got underway at Cal State Fullerton with a toasty-warm morning session.

A turnout of about 500 fans showed up in the shadows of Titan Stadium, to utilize the former preseason practice facilities of the then Los Angeles Rams.

During early drills, both Matt Moore and Drew Olson continued to look good, again trying to one-up each other with each throw. Moore had arguably a better day than Olson, but it was based more on his own play than Olson not doing as well. In fact, both looked exceptional in the 1-on-1 drills.

Moore had a slew of solid throws, one to Ryan Smith deep in the corner, another on a rope to Junior Taylor and another deep out to Josh Roenicke. Olson meanwhile had a couple of exceptional throws, one standout being a deep post corner to Bragg, who stuttered, and got Ben Emanuel to bite, only to blow by him and catch the pass in stride. Olson also hit Matt Slater on a nice fade, Slater showing what he could do as a big boy, as opposed to the imaginary fades he no doubt caught on these same fields as a young boy at father Jackie's practices.

The drills also didn't lack in physical play, as Dennis Keyes leveled Idris Moss on a slant, to the chagrin of Coach Karl Dorrell, and Matt Ware took down Bragg on another, with Bragg begging the crowd for a flag.

It continues to be refreshing to see the attitude of Craig Bragg, who never lacks for a smile. After beating Emanuel during the drills, Bragg just ran to the end zone, turned around, looked at Emanuel, smiled, then ran back to get in line. After his tangle with Ware, he walked by, patted him on the back, and got back in line. Bragg continues to be a quiet leader to all the receivers, being one of the veteran members of the group.

Ryan Smith also continues to push for a starting role, catching nearly everything thrown his way during the 7-on-7 drills, while Matt Ware had a couple of nice pass defenses. Brandon Chillar also made a nice deflection of his own.

The linemen had their own 1-on-1s, with both Junior Lemau'u and Kevin Harbour looking solid at ends.

With the running backs doing drills, coach Eric Bieniemy was loud and vocal as usual, loudly hollering at his tailbacks to finish their runs, getting on his fullbacks to complete their blocks, but always offering a slap on the back as the running backs got back in line.

Finally, the Bruins moved to a full scrimmage, with the notable position again being right guard, where Paul Mociler lined up with the starters. Asi Faoa and C.J. Niusulu were the two starting tackles defensively, with Rodney Leisle and Ryan Boschetti still sitting out due to their ailments.

Highlights of the scrimmage were a Drew Olson rollout to Marcedes Lewis for 15 yards. Lewis has had a solid camp to date, showing good hands and good strength, as well as good speed. Derrick Williams followed with a 20-yard run up the middle. Manuel White took a screen and buried Keith Short, while Moore had a couple of good plays to Junior Taylor and Marcedes Lewis.

Maurice Drew, who is getting looks returning punts, also had a couple of nice runs, most notably a sweep where he juked Xavier Burgess. John Sciarra came in and made a beautiful throw to Craig Bragg, and Bragg, while falling, caught it against Matt Clark.

Ben Emanuel had a pick of a Drew Olson pass, stepping in front of a quick out to Craig Bragg, and took it to the house.

The scrimmage concluded with Wendell Mathis accelerating through a whole to break a long run.

The scrimmage ending on that note, the players whooped it up, the blue jerseys meeting the white jerseys in a celebratory huddle. It was far different, and far more emotional, than the team's first practice at Cal Lutheran last season.

Other Notes:

-Thomas Patton sat out practice because of an ankle sprain, and had a walking boot on, while Leisle and Boschetti sat out the scrimmage. Karl Dorrell said that all three are more or less day-to-day.

-A couple of walk-ons of note: Philip Rauscher, DL/LS from La Costa Canyon and CB Olukayode Oredugba from Santa Monica High.

Some recruits in attendance were committed offensive lineman Brian Abraham, committed offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga, as well as OL/DL Brandon Nicolas and RB Terrell Jackson.

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