Tuesday's Practice: Good News

UCLA gets some good news about receiver Tab Perry and about its injured crew. The offense looks good, with the two Drews -- Olson and Maurice -- having good practices...

It was announced at practice that senior receiver Tab Perry has been re-admitted to school. Perry, who left school last year because of academics, has been trying to get reinstated by making up course work at various other colleges.

Perry will be able to begin practicing tomorrow with the team. He will, though, according to NCAA rules, have to spend two days in just a helmet, and then two practice days in shells before putting on full pads for the first time, which would be Sunday. So, he will be unable to participate in Saturday's scrimmage. "He'll be able to do many of the drills without tackling. He can't do the live drills," head coach Karl Dorrell said.

Perry will still have to be certified by the NCAA, which Dorrell said could happen by the end of the day.

"He's been a pretty good player for our program for his career," Dorrell said. "That type of player we can definitely utilize in our offense."

Dorrell added that, by returning tomorrow, it gives Perry plenty of time to be ready for the Oklahoma State game September 4th. "We'll probably keep him at one position until he gets comfortable and then see what he can do for us in other areas."

Perry will wear jersey #3.

Cornerback Jebiaus Brown, who was injured in yesterday's practice, returned to the practice field this morning, but didn't practice. Brown was struck in the neck, and lost consciousness and feeling in his extremities for a short time. Last night his x-ray and CT scan at the UCLA Medical Center were both negative. "He was cleared physically, but right now he just has a sore neck. Until the soreness calms down we'll hold him out."

Brown commented on his frightening experience: "I remember exactly what happened. I was breaking on a receiver and then I saw the play happening behind me so I tried to break back on it and I slipped. Right when I was getting up they came over the top of me. Really it was my fault because I was in the way. I didn't feel anything at all. Once I came to I felt completely normal. I was out for about 15-20 seconds, and then I started coming to. After that I felt fine. There was a second there where I couldn't move, and right before panic set in then I got feeling. I think I was probably more in shock than anything else. I was more upset and worried if I played the play right. I actually feel a lot better now than what they said I'd feel like. They said I'd have a real stiff neck but it's just a little sore. It's like the first-day-of-hitting type of sore. So not bad at all. I shouldn't be out too long. Maybe a couple of days. I took one of our concussion tests on the computer and I did very well, so I should be okay."

Receiver Junior Taylor injured his hip and had to be helped off the field. He later returned to the field, but didn't practice. Dorrell said, "We don't think it's signficant. He jammed his hip when he landed on the ground. We think it's just a bruise. We'll evaluate him if we need to with x-rays."

On the injured list and not participating in practice were much of the same faces: C.J. Niusulu (concussive symptoms), J.J. Hair (concussive symptoms), Eyoseph Efseaff (groin injury), Manuel White (concussive symptoms), Marcus Everett (concussive symptoms) and Keith Carter, who is being brought back slowly from his injury.

Dorrell said: "All the guys with the head traumas still have the head traumas. We're waiting on getting them some clearance for physical activity. But until the symptoms are alleviated, we're going to hold them out. Efseaff's groin is still sore, and he's still day-to-day."

Kyle Morgan and Brigham Harwell, who both underwent arthroscopic surgery on their knees yesterday, were at practice today on crutches. "We think those were just minor procedures and we think they'll be back on the field running and doing some things as early as next week," Dorrell said.

Overall it might have been the team's worst practice so far this fall, but it still wasn't particularly bad.

For kick-off returners, it appears the first team is Maurice Drew and Matt Clark. The second team of returners appears to be Junior Taylor and Jason Harrison, while the third team is Mil'Von James and Chris Markey.

Joe Cowan was working primarily as the third receiver, with the starters Taylor and Craig Bragg. The second three were Matt Slater, and walk-ons Andrew Baumgartner and Chris Steck. Alex Ghebreselasie is still a bit in the doghouse. Slater muffed a couple of receptions, but put together a couple of good reps, one in which he had a great spin move after the catch to get free on linebacker Wesley Walker.

Usually, at this point in practice, every year you hear that the defense is well ahead of the offense. So, it might not necessarily be a good thing that the #1 offense was having its way generally with the #1 defense today. It's hard to attribute it to UCLA's offense being so much improved while it could be that the defense is porous, especially with so many key players missing from the defensive line.

In the live 11-on-11 and the other scrimmage-like periods, the offense worked more on its short passing and running games.

Here were some highlights from today:

When free safety Ben Emanuel faltered, the coaches replaced him with Chris Horton, who then made a nice break-up of a pass over the middle. Horton also had another nice break-up on a crossing pattern, a ball he should have actually caught.

Drew Olson completed a number of nice passes. In the redzone 11-on-11 drill, Olson threw a 20-yard strike to Cowan, who was well-covered by Marcus Cassel. Two plays later he rolled out and hit Bragg with a 15-yard out for a touchdown.

David Koral continues to look better. His highlight of the day was, after a short scramble, dumping the ball to Ghebreselassie, who then advanced the ball for another 15 yards on some good quickness.

Slater gained 8 yards on a reverse, where he showed good acceleration around the corner.

Maurice Drew took a handoff, hesitated, and then found a nice hole and busted it for a 30-yard touchdown run. He later busted another for about 17 yards, breaking a series of tackles.

Harrison took a handoff at about the five and beat Emanuel to the corner for a touchdown.

There were some big plays on defense also:

Justin Hickman motored around Ed Blanton to sack the quarterback.

Tim Warfield probably had the hit of camp so far, when he stuck Jason Harrison for a 7-yard loss on a dump-off.

Spencer Havner also got in a nice hit, when he stood up Drew on a run up the middle for no gain.

Young defensive ends Bruce Davis and Nikola Dragovic continue to impress. Davis had a nice series of three plays: a sack, a nice tackle for no gain on a running back, and then good penetration to contain the runner on a pitch. Dragovic is constantly in the backfield on passing plays, scoring one sack, and then making a stop of a running back for a loss.

Linebacker Ben Lorier stepped in front of a pass nicely for an interception and then returned it for a touchdown.

Dorrell said: "It was a good practice. We finished it the right way. We had a little bit of a slow period where we weren't picking up things due to the rigors of camp. They're sore. But they responded and did some good things and we finished up the scrimmage and had some live drills. I'm still very pleased. We're moving in the right direction. We'll get some of these guys with the injuries back real soon to give us some more depth."

After a solid sophomore season in which he was second on the team with 98 tackles, junior Justin London returns to anchor one of the top linebacker corps in the nation, and talks about he and Spencer Havner, replacing Brandon Chillar, and his decision to come out West for school paying off.

BRO: How you feeling being back out on the field?

London: "Oh man, its great being back out here. Its been a long summer. We had some tough times last year, and we want to get the taste out of our mouths. We have something to prove this year."

BRO: Talk about replacing someone like Brandon Chillar.

London: "Brandon really taught me a lot last year. So this year, Spencer and I have to really step it up. But Wesley (Walker) is going to be fine there. He got a lot of reps last year. I think we have one of the best linebacking groups in the country. Brandon is a great player, and he was rewarded by getting drafted. We're going to miss him but we have to pick it up now and not skip a beat."

BRO: You and Spencer are getting a lot of attention both locally and nationally, as one of the best linebacking duos around. Talk about that

London: "It's great. He is such a good player, and he always comes ready to play. I like to think with the two of us, we are one of the best in the nation. We both can make plays and both are leaders on this defense."

BRO: Yet, you guys are seemingly two different types of personalities.

London: "(Laughing) yeah, we are different personalities. Spencer's more quiet, he leads by example and by his play. I like to talk and get our guys excited. We're a good mix. But put the pads on and the uniform on, and we are both the same. We want to win."

BRO: You were part of that vaunted linebacker class from Virginia with Kai Parham and Ahmad Brooks. They both are having great success at Virginia, and you are out here. You still talk with them?

London: "Oh yeah, I talk to them a lot. We're representing for Virginia, baby! Its good though, they are doing real well at Virginia, and I am doing well out here. And hopefully, we'll all be at the next level together."

BRO: You pretty excited about seeing them sell your #9 jersey this season?

London: "I'm very blessed man. To come out here, take a chance and leave home to come to UCLA, and have my jersey sell, be on the cover of the media guide. It took a lot of hard work. I'm just blessed."

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