Thursday Practice Notes

The team looks good despite it being just the second day of practice and adapting to a soggy field. The defensive backs have a good day, and there's a good turnout of recruits in attendance...

Practice got a bit more interesting in its second day, with more passing drills.

The quarterbacks generally looked fairly good, given it was just the second day of winter practice and they're working on a soggy field. Ben Olson, again, looks very good physically and throwing the ball, while he's still getting acclimated. He misses some receivers, but the ball looks great doing it, and he'll hesitate in the pocket, which is all understandable.

David Koral, against the likes of Olson and Pat Cowan, looks quite a bit smaller on the field, but has been throwing the ball fairly well and making good, quick decisions.

Pat Cowan, the redshirt freshman, continues to impress, showing a big arm and very good accuracy in his passes.

The team is playing through some simultaneous drills, where a couple of quarterbacks throw to receivers in a one-on-one situation, and then rotate over to another station where they go seven-on-seven. Some videos of the drills is coming soon.

The defensive backs Thursday had a good day, with Trey Brown looking very physical on his receiver. Mil'Von James picked off an Olson pass, stepping into the lane before the receiver, and Byron Velega picked off Cowan. Velega had a good day, looking quick and physical. Also, safety Dennis Keyes had a couple of nice break-ups. Overall, the defensive backs have come out in spring quite a bit more physical.

Junior Taylor clearly looks above the rest of the receiver group, making some nice catches on the day. Brandon Breazell had a couple of nice grabs; when he's being defended by cornerback Rodney Van it is truly quickness on quickness. Marcus Everett also had one nice, athletic catch.

Interestingly, in the UCLA spring prospectus, Michael Norris, the sophomore, is listed atop the depth chart at the right corner position, with Rodney Van, the sophomore, in front at the left corner spot, with Trey Brown behind Van.

Walk-on quarterback Eddie Miller is no longer with the team.

There was a good number of recruits in attendance Thursday, a few popping in to check out practice from the all sport junior day (Just like football junior day, but for other sports besides football and basketball). In attendance was offensive line prospect Steve Schilling, 6-5, 290, Bellvue (Wash.) High, considered one of the better OL prospects in the Northwest; safety/linebacker Taylor Mays, 6-3, 215, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea, who physically was very impressive-looking; defensive end/linebacker Marquez Harrod, 6-3, 220, Escondido (Calif.) San Pasqual, and quarterback Tyler Lyon, 6-5, 200, Newhall (Calif.) Hart.

Lyon was on campus as a baseball prospect, with a baseball nametag on his shirt, along with his parents. Apparently, Lyon would come to UCLA if he were able to play both football and baseball. Lyon is considered a very good baseball prospect. In football, he just started for the first time as a junior last season, and showed a nice arm and surprising mobility for someone his size. He threw for 3108 yards and 27 touchdowns on the season.

Also attending were committed seniors Shawn Oatis and Bret Lockett, for the second day in a row. Committed lineman Aleksey Lanis attended, and looks particularly huge and in better shape than when we last saw him.

We published earlier that Lanis didn't get admitted to UCLA's winter quarter because of an error by a Crenshaw counselor.

We have since been corrected in the matter. Lanis did, in fact, lack an art class to qualify by UCLA admissions, but UCLA would have waived the requirement. The fact that UCLA moved its practice to February/March was the primary obstacle. For Lanis to participate he would have had to enroll in winter quarter, which begins in January, and he still had two weeks left in his high school semester.

For Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments on video, go here.

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