Cory Paus actually didn't look too rusty, and the other quarterbacks also, once they got warmed up, looked pretty good. Paus was in the same form that he was for spring, which Paus called his best spring practice ever since he's been at UCLA.
John Sciarra, while he still looks small physically, had a good showing for a first practice. He threw some strong, accurate balls. Drew Olson and Matt Moore started out slow in the drills, but warmed up and had some nice completions in the seven-on-seven and the mini-scrimmage at the end of practice. Olson threw a pretty dart on a slant, and Moore was hitting his receivers on the timing patterns.
Craig Bragg, as always, was Mr. Consistent, catching most everything thrown his way. Ryan Smith had a couple of nice catches, one coming back for on a short pass where he beat his defender. Mike Seidman looks almost impossible to defend on his tight end post pattern and Paus has the rhythm and angle of that pass down cold. Josh Roenicke, the walk on redshirt freshman wide receiver dropped a ball, but also caught a couple of nice balls in traffic.
It was interesting how the defensive personnel is grouped in the first-, second- and third teams, particularly among the safeties. Jarrad Page, the true freshman, worked out with the starters at strong safety, along side Matt Ware. The second team was Ben Emanuel at free safety and Jibril Raymo at free. The third consisted of Eric McNeal at strong and Kevin Brant at free. Defensive Coordinator and safety coach Phil Snow explained: "Here's what I did. I put a young guy with an older guy. Matt will travel with Jarrad this whole camp. Now this afternoon they might be in the third group. Ben Emanuel is going to learn free safety, and he's with Jibril who knows strong. Ben knows strong, and he knows free, too, but he'll get better. Then I put Eric McNeal with Kevin Brant. So that the young guys feel good about getting lined up, and I can see if they can play or not. But Jarrad with the first group today doesn't mean he's first team. I'm just going to rotate it that way. But those three groups will travel together for the week that we're here."
What's the inspiration behind Ben Emanuel learning free safety? Coach Snow said, "I want to make sure that if Matt Ware goes down, we have a veteran that can play free. I know Kevin can, but I also want to teach Ben. So, I have Matt and Kevin that know free, and I need one more guy, which is Ben."
Snow says that he'll throw the two freshmen into the fire pretty quickly. "I want to find out if the two freshmen can play this year. So, they're both playing the same position, strong safety."
Spencer Havner worked with the first team linebackers at the weakside, along with Marcus Reese and Brandon Chillar. Chillar looked particularly quick this morning.
In the mini-scrimmage, Rod Leisle didn't participate, so Sean Phillips and Steve Morgan were the first-team tackles. Dave Ball and Rusty Williams were the first-team defensive ends.
The second-team defense saw Asi Faoa, Ryan Boschetti, C.J. Niusulu and Mat Ball on the line. David Tautofi subbed in and saw some time at D-tackle in place of Niusulu. Dennis Link was at middle linebacker, Tim Warfield at strongside and Patrick Pierre-Louis at weak. Matt Clark and Marcus Cassell were the corners.
The third team defense consisted of Tautofi at one defensive end spot, Kevin Harbour at the other, and Matt Kocher and Ryan Teofilo at the defensive tackle positions. James Jessen, the volleyball player/walk-on who was a defensive end in spring, was seen at strongside linebacker, with Justin London in the middle and Nick Carey at the weakside. Glenn Ohaeri and Keith Short were the third-team corners.
Coach Snow acknowledged that Joe Garcia and Jebiaus Brown didn't get reps in the backfield, but that they would probably this afternoon.
On the offensive line, Paul Mociler took most of the snaps at center with the starting line. Robert Cleary also had some reps with the starters at left guard.
There was probably the biggest crowd of fans in attendance at this morning's practice than any I've seen of any first fall practice in recent memory. Even a few fans that were tailgating as they watched practice.
Also a little Cal Lutheran trivia: There is a long-known tale in Thousand Oaks that one of the dorms at CLU is haunted. It's unknown if the supposedly haunted dorm is one that the players are staying in.
Expect a great many reports from practices on B.R.O, most days one for every morning and evening practice, at Cal Lutheran, since CLU is so close to the B.R.O. "offices"…