Freshmen First Day

The incoming freshmen work out for the first time Tuesday, and there is one freak and few other standouts among generally a very good group of true freshmen...

The NCAA Clearinghouse has cleared linebacker Kirby Joseph and he participated in practice this afternoon.

Linebacker Xavier Burgess has not been cleared for contact because of surgery he had on his shoulder in high school. UCLA is expecting him to be cleared in the near future.

Idris Moss also had surgery on his left shoulder in April, will probably not be cleared for contact in the near future, and will almost certainly be forced to redshirt.

Both Burgess and Moss participated in practice today without pads, and will continue to participate in non-contact parts of practice.

It's difficult and far too premature to really evaluate or draw any conclusions from the first hour and a half of freshmen practice. But in that brief glimpse of the UCLA freshmen, most of we've been reporting about the freshmen and what you would expect looked to be true.

Marcedes Lewis simply is a freak. He is up to 250 pounds but still looks skinny, which is scary. He looks incredibly athletic and fast, and looked great lining up as a tight end and wideout. He has a chance to be as big an impact player as a true freshman as anyone in recent memory, and that includes Matt Ware.

Matt Moore looks athletic, but skinny and still raw mechanically. Drew Olson doesn't have the arm strength or mobility of Moore, but is better technically and throws a more precise ball. Olson was fairly impressive for a first day, given the requisite rust and jitters.

Idris Moss is 5-11 and pretty slight, but is very, very quick, with great feet.

J.J. Hair is about 6-6 and 260 and looks like he has the potential to fill out more physically. Like I've said, it's incredibly premature to make predictions or evaluations, but Hair might take his decent quickness as a tight end and grow into a quick offensive tackle.

J.D. Groves looks big and quick at fullback. The walk on linebacker I mentioned this morning actually is working as a fullback. He is Mark Mangelsdorf, from St. Louis (Missouri) Chaminade. He looked good in the drills, measuring 6-2 and weighing in the 210 range.

The OLs were impossible to watch practice, but, like he did in high school, Alex Potasi definitely passes the eye-ball test. Elliot Vallejo is 285 pounds and looks skinny. Robert Chai looked quick off the ball in the limited view we have of the offensive line drills. There is a walk on named Joe Maiale, 6-4, 330, who is a transfer from Pierce College.

The freshmen defensive linemen are an impressive group. C.J. Niusulu is 6-2 and 300 pounds and has very good quickness. Thomas Patton is 6-3 and 275 and looks like a defensive tackle all the way. Kevin Harbour is 6-4 and 245 and looked quick in the drills. Walk-on Will Peddie looked to be about the same size as Harbour.

The linebackers look like they're already a bonded group. Perhaps the most ready to play, even though it's only from the impression of one practice, is Justin London. He is 6-2 and 225, and ran very well in the morning 40s. Kirby Joseph might be right there with London, being 6-2 and 230. Xavier Burgess also looked good sized, and Wesley Walker is the skinniest one but the tallest at probably 6-3. All four looked good for a first day.

The defensive backs were impressive. Glenn O'Haeri is still a physical specimen, looking much like Ricky Manning at the same stage (heck, right now). He ran the fastest 40 among all the freshmen and looked very quick in the DB drills. And it's a very good thing that Jarrad Page is going to play football at UCLA. He looks like he's grown, probably about 6-1 and 205ish. He ran very well and looked very good in the drills. Jebiaus Brown, who is probably 6-0, also looked quick-footed. Eric McNeal looked like his energy level was a bit low, but physically looked impressive. Nick Johnston, San Ramon Valley High, is a walk on corner at about 5-9 and 160, and had some decent quickness.

Justin Medlock, the freshmen kicker, struggled a bit punting the ball, but looked more settled place kicking. He has a strong leg and was popping them from 50-yards by the end of the day.

Freddie Parrish, the 6-0, 200-lb. safety prospect from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly was at this afternoon's freshmen practice, after spending most of the day at UCLA.

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