Spring Practice Notes

With Spring Practice starting April 2nd, here are some bits of info from UCLA's spring media guide...

With UCLA spring football practice starting April 2nd, the UCLA 2002 Spring Football Media Guide has been released by UCLA.

There are some bits of information in it that are interesting.

About the lack of depth at quarterback for spring, Coach Bob Toledo said, "This position will be of particular interest for us. We hope and expect that Cory (Paus) willr return to the form he showed during the latter half of his sophomore season. He had to deal with several issues a year ago and we expect that he will show us duringthe Spring that his problems are behind him. We will also take a long look at John (Sciarra) during Spring Practice. He is very athletic and we expect him to continue to develop. Two incoming freshmen will compete for the position in Fall camp. Obviously, we are hopeful that Cory plays well this Spring so we can take advantage of his experienceand bring the youngsters along slowly. We will play the quarterback who gives us the best chance to win football games."

Also, listed on the roster sheet is a walk-on quarterback, Scott Schmitz, a junior transfer from L.A. Harbor College. Schmitz is listed at 6-0 and 190 lbs.

At running back, Akil Harris is called "the top candidate" for the starting position.

Dane Skophammer, the redshirt freshman linebacker, is now listed at fullback.

At wide receiver, there is no mention of whether Tab Perry or Ryan Smith will be able to participate in Spring practice, or to what degree. It mentions Jon Dubravac's return to action.

Walk-on defensive back Russell Thomas (SR, 6-3, 187) is not listed as a wide receiver. Walk-on redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Roenicke has also changed position, to wide receiver.

Saia Makakaufaki, who has played defensive tackle after coming to UCLA as a tight end, is now listed among the tight ends.

On the offensive line, the Media Guide states that Steve Vieira and Shane Lehmann will wage a "spirited competition for the starting job at right guard," while it has Vieira listed first. It also says that Lehmann may see some action at center and Vieira at tackle. John Ream is the top candidate for center. Paul Mociler, it states, will backup at left guard behind Eyoseff Efseaff, but will also take some snaps at center.

As established, Collin Barker and Robert Cleary will be slated for guard, Matt Mosebar and Ed Blanton for tckle, and Mike McCloskey for center. Barker is listed at 6-8, 300, Blanton at 6-9 and 316, Mosebar at 6-8, 280, and Cleary at 6-7 and 290.

On the defensive line, Mat Ball has returned to defensive end and is mentioned as one of the potential candidates to start at left end, along with Asi Faoa. Ball, though, in the depth chart, is listed as the slated starter. The guide states that David Tautofi will compete at the end positions. Besides Rod Leisle at one tackle, it's still very undetermined who will be the starter at the other tackle position. It lists Steve Morgan as the starter on the depth chart, but also says Sean Phillips and Ryan Boschetti as having shots. Toledo said, "We're also anxious to see what Ryan can do during spring practice."

Marcus Reese is slated for middle linebacker and is listed at 6-2 and 227 now. Audie Attar will open Spring Practice as the "front runner"for the weakside linebacker position. Redshirt freshman Spencer Havner is now listed at 6-3 and 240, and is slated for the weakside position.

In the secondary, Joe Hunter is slated to open practice as the front runner for the cornerback spot. That makes Matt Ware slated for free safety, but it also states he'll "play the greatest position of need in the secondary." Toledo said, "Matt Ware is a coach's dream. He has great athletic ability and is a great young man who will do anything for the team. We will play him wherever we feel we need him the most." Walkon sophomore Chad Rogers is listed as the backup at free safety.

The guide lists Matt Clark and Keith Short behind Hunter,and Marcus Cassel behind Ricky Manning.

The guide states that Ben Emanuel will not be participating in camp because of off-season reconstructive surgery on his left shoulder. He'll be competing for the strong safety position with true sophomore Jibril Raymo. Toledo said, "We think Ben and Jibril together will give us a solid one-two punch at strong safety."

Since readers love to hear about walkons, here are the new walkon names that are slated to be out for spring: Tommy Bright, a 6-0, 190-lb strong safety from Upland Damien, and Justin Domineck, 5-11,213 tailback from Anaheim Servite.

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