Practice Notes from Monday

The football teams goes through extended 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 scrimmages, and a few players stand out. We have the play-by-play for you. Also, one offensive line starter breaks his hand...

As you probably heard in the interview with Head Coach Karl Dorrell from Monday night, a few players missed practice.

Shannon Tevaga broke his left hand Saturday.  Fullback Michael Pitre was out with a hamstring injury. 

Both Robert Cleary and C.J. Niusulu have class on Mondays.

Hear all the details in the VIDEO: Karl Dorrell on Saturday.

The Crutches Brigade -- Jebiaus Brown, Justin London and Chris Horton.

Cornerback Byron Velega was also dinged up, spending some time on the ground with a trainer, but he later got up and walked well and it didn't appear to be serious.

Nikola Dragovic returned to practice after sitting out the first four.

With Cleary and Tevaga, the starting offensive guards not practicing, P.J. Irvin and walk-on Micah Reed worked with the #1 offensive line.

On defense, while there is plenty of personnel shuffling, it does appear the first-string defensive line in practice consists of Kyle Morgan and Justin Hickman as defensive ends and Kevin Brown and Brigham Harwell at tackle.  Niusulu, of course, will be in that mix, and probably start, but it looks like the three primary inside guys are Brown, Niusulu and Harwell.

At linebacker on Monday, Aaron Whittington and walk-ons Christian Taylor and Jameel Greer got reps with the 1s. In the backfield, it was Trey Brown and Michael Norris at corner and Dennis Keyes and walk-on Charlie Shuh at safeties.  Eric McNeal is a strong safety, like Keyes, but he seems to be working mostly with the 2s.

UCLA conducted a relatively long period that consisted of both a 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. Here's a play by play:

-- David Koral has a pass broken up by Trey Brown, who had good coverage.
-- Koral connects with Marcus Everett on a short crossing pattern for about 8 yards.
-- With receivers covered, Koral scrambles.
-- Brian Callahan throws incomplete.
-- Callahan throws a poor ball that is easily knocked down by Trey Brown.
-- Patrick Cowan makes an excellent throw on a deep fade to Marcedes Lewis, who makes a great one-handed catch, for about 35 yards.
-- Cowan leaves it a little short on a post to his brother Joe Cowan but Joe slows up to make the catch, good for about 30.
-- Ben Olson completes a quick-hitter to Brandon Breazell on the outside for about 10 yards.
-- Olson throws a quick slant to Matt Slater but it's broken up by Rodney Van.
-- Koral goes over the middle to Everett for a gain of about 15.
-- Koral finds Cowan underneath and Cowan advances it up the sideline, good for about 25.
-- Koral completes a 20-yard out to Breazell. The ball is thrown a bit behind Breazell but he makes the catch.
-- Cowan connects with Slater on a hitch - a good throw and good catch.
-- Cowan throws to Alex Ghebreselassie late, and it gives Michael Norris time to break it up.
-- Olson throws short over the middle to Derrick Williams for about 8 on a perfect throw.
-- Olson finds Jimmy Stephens wide open on a flair, good for about 15.
-- Koral completes a short out to Everett for about 5.
-- Koral throws a nice ball on a hitch to Ghebreselassie for 10.
-- Koral finds Lewis over the middle for about 15 on a very nice, accurate throw.
-- Cowan pump fakes and throws a good ball deep to Junior Taylor. The ball is bit high but catchable, but Taylor can't make the grab.
-- Cowan underthrows to Graves, and Mil'Von James makes the break up.
-- Olson sees his receivers covered and scrambles.
-- Olson throws an interception to Mark Cordell, intended for Lewis over the middle.
-- Olson throws incomplete to Breazell on a ball he should have caught.


-- Koral throws low over the middle but Taylor makes the grab for about 12.
-- Maurice Drew blasts through a good hole and would probably have gained 25.
-- Koral is sacked after good coverage.
-- Callahan hands off to Derrick Williams, and he gains just one, with a stop by Kyle Morgan.
-- Callahan throws a misdirection receiver screen to Taylor that catches the defense off-guard and Taylor takes it up the field for what would have been a touchdown.
-- Cowan hands to Ryen Carew, who is stopped behind the line by William Snead. It's hard to determine, in a no-tackling scrimmage, if he would have made the tackle.
-- Cowan is sacked quickly by Snead and Chris Johnson.
-- Olson hands to Williams on a counter with a big hole and he runs for 20.
-- Olson rolls out, doesn't find a receiver and runs.
-- Koral hands to Stephens who is stopped for no gain by Justin Hickman.
-- Koral hands to Markey and he's stopped behind the line by Brigham Harwell.
-- Koral rolls out and is run down by Harwell.
-- Callahan hands to Williams, who is caught quickly on the outside by Bruce Davis.
-- There's a fumble on a draw from Callahan, and Kevin Harbour recovers it.
-- Cowan hands to Williams off-tackle for five yards.
-- Cowan rolls, can't find a receiver and runs.
-- Olson hands to Carew who fumbles, and Kevin Brown recovers.
-- Olson throws incomplete to Taylor on a deep ball. Taylor came back for it while Olson threw deep. -- Koral hands to Drew, who evades Hickman in the backfield to gain 10.
-- Koral scrambles and then finds Ryan Graves for a 15-yard completion.
-- Koral hands to Stephens, who gains seven yards, and is stopped quickly by Harwell.
-- Callahan throws a fade to Breazell but overthrows him.
-- Callahan hands to Williams, who's stopped for a short gain by Snead.
-- Cowan is rushed by a hard-charging Nathaniel Skaggs and throws incomplete.
-- Cowan hands to Carew, who is stopped after a short gain by Whittington.
-- Olson is sacked by a quick Harwell.
-- Olson throws inaccurately on a deep out to Ghebreselassie.
-- Koral hands to Markey for a short gain, with a good tackle made by Cordell.
-- Koral throws to Slater over the middle but it's broken up by Van.

Between these two scrimmages and earlier in the drills, the standouts on defense were clearly Kevin Brown and Brigham Harwell. 

On offense, Marcedes Lewis looked like a different species on the field compared to the rest of the team. Maurice Drew looked explosive and elusive.

It's curious why the coaches are giving Callahan second-string reps.  Taking nothing away from the work and dedication Callahan has put into the program, UCLA still needs desperately to develop Olson and Cowan.  You'd have to think that every additional rep Olson can get at this point is exponentially beneficial.

The scrimmages were very intense, and even though they were in just helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, both offense and defense played like they were in full pads, throwing their bodies around.

Committed senior Shawn Oatis attended practice.

There were three junior prospects in attendance:  Jimmie Carmack, OL/DL, 6-5, 270, from Palos Verdes (Calif.) High; Jacob Dean, OL/DL, 6-4, 260, Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete, and Danny Miller, LB/TE, 6-2, 230, La Verne (Calif. Damien.

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