Wednesday Practice Report: Double Dip

A morning practice with the pads was followed by an evening practice with just as much hitting, but minus the pads, in a Hump Day practice at Cal State Fullerton...

With the second two-a-day session, the Bruins returned to the field, with the weather in Fullerton being a little cooler then in the past few days.

In the morning session, they were in full pads, with a host of players sitting out for various reasons. Notable absentees were Mike McCloskey (concussive symptoms), Ben Emanuel (concussive symptoms), Jarrad Page (stinger) and Wendell Mathis (strained calf). Also, Justin London had an arch issue, but should be full speed by Friday and Derrick Williams sprained a knee and his status is unknown.

As for the practice itself, going on the far field, both quarterbacks Drew Olson and Matt Moore looked solid in the early drills. Both had some pretty throws, though Moore was far more consistent in his performances.

The receivers had a rough start, with normally surehanded Ryan Smith suffering a case of the dropsies, while ironically, Jacques Lazarus had probably his best day ever as a Bruin. Lazarus had a couple of tough catches, and looked to be turning it up a bit, while Idris Moss continues to show he deserves some playing time, with a good morning.

The surprise of camp was Craig Bragg dropping probably his first pass. As he finished the drill, the sight of him doing push-ups was probably the most unusual sight to the coaches and players in all of camp. But that would be his only miscue in the morning.

Following the initial drills came a 7-on-0 drill which had one group on offense go, with coach Steve Axman signaling in the plays to the QB's, the unit would go in a 2-minute drill mode, and after getting 20 yards, the next group was right on their heel. At one point, three offensive units were going. Marcedes Lewis, who has had an exceptional past two days, again looked solid during the drills, showing the chemistry that he and Matt Moore have.

Next came 7-on-7, and Idris Moss made the play of that particular program, catching a tough pass from John Sciarra with Matt Ware all over him.

Following that was a goal-line drill, with the first offense running against the first defense. The offense attempted a couple of option plays, and with Matt Moore running the offense, he struggled in getting down the right timing on the pitch to Tyler Ebell. The first one was low that Ebell had to reach down for and was drilled by Dave Ball. The next play to the left side was a pitch behind Ebell that both Ebell and Kevin Brant dove after, with Brant coming up with the ball.

The best sight was both coach Larry Kerr and Gary DeLoach sprinting to the defense, imploring to the "referee" Dorrell that it was the defenses ball. Their emotion was the polar opposite of Axman and Eric Bieniemy, who rode Moore and Ebell for the poor timing.

The second units ran it, and the second defensive line of Kevin Harbour, C.J. Niusulu, Kevin Brown and Bruce Davis refused to budge, drilling J.D. Groves for a 1-yard gain, and tagging Derrick Williams for a loss, on the play Williams hurt his knee. The penetration the defensive line was giving had to be encouraging to Don Johnson, who was barking at the line the whole drill.

Next up was kickoff, and arguably the hit of the day came when Asi Faoa, at full speed took out Philip Rauscher, and sent him back 5 yards, before drilling the returner. Aaron Whittington and William Snead also were publicly recognized by Bieniemy.

Going back to 7-on-7, Moore ran with the first unit, and on the first play, threw a dart to Marcedes Lewis, and a few plays later, followed it up with a pump fake that Matt Clark bit hard on, with Lazarus getting in to the back of the end zone for a TD.

With Emanuel and Page out, Kevin Brant and Eric McNeal manned the safety unit.

Moore had a couple more good throws to Will Peddie and Marcedes Lewis. Olson had his share of good plays, most notably, a goalline slant to Craig Bragg.

Spencer Havner welcomed himself back to the defense by leveling Ryan Smith on a dump off.

After calling it a morning, the team reconvened with an evening practice minus their pads, wearing just helmets and shorts.

The receivers looked much better in drills, with Idris Moss and Junior Taylor both standing out.

During 7-on-7, both Olson and Moore looked a bit shaky, struggling with their reads, but picked it up towards the end. Olson had a good throw to Bragg and one to Lewis, while Moore followed with a fade to Bragg, a slant to Taylor and a 15 yard out he rifled to Moss.

Defensively, Brandon Chillar thumped a padless Maurice Drew, which caught Drew off guard, and Matt Clark made a pair of exceptional plays, one on a break up of a Sciarra pass to Ryan Smith, and another on a quick read to Tyler Ebell.

With a slow-paced, harmless 11-on-11 scrimmage, key plays were a Nnamdi Ohaeri deflection, in his first practice of the year, broke on a Moore pass to Bragg from his nickel position, left his feet and as Bragg was guiding the ball in, Ohaeri knocked it away to the applause of the defense, who shouted "Nnamdi" enthusiastically. Ohaeri was visibly pumped, making his first key play of camp. It was contagious, as Havner had a couple of deflections of his own, including one he jumped 2-3 feet in the air to tip a Moore pass, that Dennis Link intercepted and took in for a score.

The next series, Mo Drew, lost his show, yet still found a 20-yard run, out running Brant to the corner before slipping. Moore ended this drill with a bullet that Brandon Chillar couldn't even get his hands up to, that was threaded perfectly to Bragg.

Finally, came a ball-movement 11-on-11, and on the first play, Moore found Bragg on the sideline, but in came Matt Clark, who picked it up and as he was running back to the house, was stripped at the five, and the offense took back over. Olson ran a series, and they turned it over on downs. Moore ended the scrimmaging, running his own series, and made a beautiful pass down the sideline to a diving Jacques Lazarus for 30 yards, who got behind Keith Short and pulled it in, and again, showed signs of life with some minor celebration.

Justin Medlock finished off practice with a 45-yard field goal attempt with the defense on the sideline taunting, yelling and trying to distract him, and the other defensive players trying to block, but he was money down the middle, with an extra 10 yards to spare.

Notable attendees of practice were a trio of commits: South Hills CB Bryan Payton (and brother/ASU commit Jeremy Payton), Los Altos S Daniel Drayton and Charter Oak P/K Aaron Perez, along with Charter Oak RB prospect Patrick Fuller.

Also there was former Bruin guard Oscar Cabrera, who was filming the SBC Commercial during practice, but was sneaking peaks at the Bruin practice, and announcing how he wished he was out practicing with the team.

In the evening session, Robert Chai ran with the first team offense at center, with Tyson Clayton running the second team offense at center. Also, Paul Mociler performed well at right guard with Shane Lehmann at left tackle for the second straight day, and Alex Potasi next to him at left guard. Jarrad Page practiced in the evening.


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