Report on Thursday's Practice

A freshman tight end has the play of the day on offense and a sophomore cornerback has the defensive play of the day. A receiver who had been stepping up is suddenly out with an injury...

Personnel Update:

Receiver Matt Slater wore a boot on his ankle at this morning's practice. A spokesman for UCLA said that he's been experiencing problems over the last several days and that he'll have x-rays today.

Center Mike McCloskey, who is now #63 (unknown if that is permanent), did individual drills but not team drills.

Receiver Gavin Ketchum was in full pads and did running today.

Freshman defensive tackle Jess Ward was in a boot.

The recovery time for Chris Horton, who had his dislocated wrist operated on yesterday, is still uncertain.

For more details about the personnel, watch the video of Karl Dorrell talking after practice.

Performance Report:

The practice was a short one this morning, going until about 11:30, and the team quickly went into some game situations, both live and thud (just hitting, not tackling).

Justin London, the senior middle linebacker, is making more plays as he gets more reps. He had a big stop on Maurice Drew on a running play through the middle, and got a couple of sacks in the 11-on-11s.

The projected starting linebackers, London, Spencer Havner and Bruce Davis, looked good playing alongside each other with the 1s on defense.

In the one-on-ones, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Kenneth Lombard continues to impress. He has such good lateral quickness that he's effective on pass rushing and off-tackle running plays.

Freshman defensive tackle Chase Moline beat a couple of different OLs in the one-on-ones. He was so quick to get around his blocker that OL Aaron Meyer resorted to holding him blatantly.

Nikola Dragovic, the sophomore defensive end, continues to have a good camp, getting the most reps with the ones today, sharing most of them with Williams Snead. Kyle Morgan had a tackle and a near-sack on the day, working mostly with the 2s and 3s.

Justin Hickman and Kevin Brown on one side of the defensive line is truly a handful for any OL. Hickman had a couple of sacks today, using his quickness and smarts.

Nathaniel Skaggs had a nice sack against the first-string offense.

Trey Brown and Michael Norris worked as the starting corners today, and Brown did well. Brown had a great shoestring tackle against Chris Markey to prevent a touchdown, even though the refs signaled a score. Norris, who was getting ridden by cornerback coach Gary DeLoach for missing assignments, did have a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

The defensive play of the day was made by corner Rodney Van, when he ran down Joe Cowan on a reverse from the backside for a 12-yard loss.

Freshman cornerback Aaron Ware had a nice break-up in a one-on-one drill against senior receiver Junior Taylor.

In a third-and-goal drill, a few other defensive players stepped up. Players making big tackles to prevent touchdowns were Eric McNeal, Robert Kibble and John Hale. Generally the defense looked good defending in the redzone against the run.

Walk-on Olukayode Oredugba has moved from safety to cornerback.

On offense, the stars of the day were Maurice Drew, Marcus Everett, Joe Cowan and Logan Paulsen.

Drew broke off a pretty run on a counter for about a 15-yard touchdown. Everett made a number of very good catches, one in particular where he had to leap to grab a pass from David Koral, a ball that was thrown well. Cowan also had a few good catches, getting open on blown coverage on one play to catch a 20-yard TD.

Walk-on receiver Matt Willis got more reps with Slater not practicing, and did well. He caught a nice pass from Drew Olson on a slant, showing improved hands.

Paulsen had the reception of the day, though, when he caught a pass over the middle from Koral and broke a number of tackles to score a 30-yard touchdown.

Marcedes Lewis had one of the best catches of the day, grabbing a ball at the five yard-line thrown by Ben Olson and breaking a tackle by Justin London to score.

The receiver depth chart looks to be shaping up. At split end it's Junior Taylor and Marcus Everett, and then it looks like it's Ryan Graves, Jamil Turner and Andrew Baumgartner.

At flanker it's Joe Cowan, Brandon Breazell and Matt Willis, while Matt Slater and Gavin Ketchum are out.

Quarterback Watch:

Head Coach Karl Dorrell conceded that Drew Olson might have a slight "edge" over Ben Olson at this point. He said that the two Olsons were working with the 1s and David Koral and Pat Cowan were with the 2s. That looks to be the present depth chart – Drew Olson, Ben Olson, David Koral and Pat Cowan, in that order.

Recruiting:

We forgot to mention that Kai Forbath, the elite kicker from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, attended practice last week.

Long Beach Jordan brought out many of his players to practice this morning.


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