Football Media Day Notes

Here's a quick review of some of the bigger points that came out of Football Media Day Friday, including some takes on the incoming freshmen, Cory Paus, and who looks better physically...

There will be full, verbatim interviews with Coach Toledo and various players from Media Day, as well as a few photo galleries, coming soon.

Wide receiver Jon Dubravac said he's completely recovered from the recurring back injury that has plagued his career at UCLA.

Matt Ware was "startled" when an online sports site named him the #1 safety in the country. "It's a bit shocking, since I haven't even played the position yet," he said.

Cory Paus said one of the strengths of the team is going to be at quarterback. He cited his experience and the fact that there was no amount of adversity that he couldn't take at this point. Coach Bob Toledo said that Paus "doesn't have a bigger backer" than the head coach right now.

Tyler Ebell experienced some injuries – a bad shoulder and a concussion -- last spring that set back his development. The coaches had planned to implement a few things offensively specifically for Ebell but were unable to do it due to his injuries last spring. They'll implement them now this fall.

When someone told Drew Olson that an ex-UCLA quarterback said it was impossible for a true freshman quarterback to come in and learn the playbook within a year, Olson said, "He's right."

Coach Toledo said that he expects upwards of 12 true freshmen to have a chance to contribute this season. Even though he conceded that it was tough to draw any conclusions on just a few days of freshmen practice, he did specifically say that he thought Justin London will have a chance to compete for playing time at linebacker. "He's very strong, and he ran real well, and he's caught on real well. (Linebacker coach) Marc Dove said he has great huddle command." He said London will be slated for middle linebacker. He mentioned Wesley Walker. "He's put on a little weight and he's athletic. Our weakside inside linebacker position is really up for grabs." He also mentioned Kirby Joseph and said that "he has a chance" to contribute this year. He then thought that another position where freshmen might have the best chance to contribute is at defensive back.

Toledo cited a few positions where there would be some considerable competition: at center, at wide receiver, and linebacker.

Toledo said he has been "extremely impressed" with both freshmen quarterbacks so far. "They have a lot of physical ability. They've caught on very fast. And they're both going to be very good football players for us."

He talked briefly about the charges against C.J. Niusulu.'s. "Hopefully they'll be reduced to a misdemeanor," Toledo said. "He's a very good kid and he just made a mistake."

Marcedes Lewis will not only get time at tight end and wide receiver, but he'll get a look at defensive end during fall practice. "If he can beat Mike Saffer, we'll know he's pretty good."

Players who look better physically:

-- Running back Wendell Mathis looks like he's put on at least ten pounds of muscle and is close to 200 pounds. Physically he's starting to look more and more like DeShaun Foster.

-- Mike Seidman is in freakishly good condition.

-- Tab Perry has slimmed down a bit.

-- Spencer Havner has bulked up, looking close to the weight he's listed, 232.

-- Drew Olson said that he's 205 pounds, not the 188 that was his listed weight from high school.

-- Tyler Ebell looks a bit thicker, even though he won't say how much he weighs.

-- Robert Cleary has lost the bad weight and put on good muscle. His body looks quite a bit different.

-- Jibril Raymo looks a bit thicker.

-- Patrick Pierre-Louis looks more muscular and leaner.

-- Ed Blanton has thickened up, and looks all of the 330 he's listed.

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