Monday Night Practice Report

It looks like it's going to be a two-quarterback duel for the starting spot against Tennessee, the freshman wide receivers continue to make an impact, a freshman defensive player looks firmly implanted to start, and more...

Returning to practice Monday were running backs Kahlil Bell and Aundre Dean, as well as receiver Nelson Rosario and defensive tackle Brian Price. Price practiced on a limited basis.

The tone of practice was established at the beginning, when in a pursuit drill, Defensive Coordinator DeWayne Walker immediately got into the defense, called them over to chew them out a bit and then re-started.

On the offense, it was Kevin Craft getting most of the reps with the first string and Chris Forcier with the second string. Both had okay practices, both at times connecting on some good passes but then missing and looking confused on others. They are under constant pressure from the defense.

We've heard that the coaching staff is really pointing toward this Saturday's scrimmage to determine the starter. They might not name one immediately after the scrimmage, but the coaching staff is hoping that the scrimmage shows something about either Craft or Forcier that makes the decision clear.

Rosario, in the one-on-ones, was smoothly running routes and plucking balls away from defensive backs, twice beating Bret Lockett easily.

Craft made a good throw to Gavin Ketchum on a 20-yard out, and Ketchum went very high to make the grab.

Forcier connected with Taylor Embree, on a well-thrown deep ball that Embree caught while falling down.

The listing of heights can always be interesting. Both Rosario and tight end Ryan Moya are listed by UCLA at 6-4. When the two were standing next to each other, there was a considerable discrepancy. Rosario is probably closer to 6-5 and Moya closer to 6-2, and it's very evident.

It's pretty clear that Embree, Rosario, Antwon Moutra and Jerry Johnson are all getting shots at making the receiver rotation. When the ones are on the field, they are rotating in along with the veterans – Marcus Everett, Dominique Johnson, Terrence Austin, Ketchum and Ryan Graves.

The freshmen running backs are all getting reps with the various offensive units. At times, you could see Milton Knox, Johnathan Franklin, Derrick Coleman and Aundre Dean each getting a rep with the ones, and then with the fours. Milton Knox continues to impress with his explosiveness.

There was some experimenting on the first-team offensive line Monday. Scott Glicksberg, who was slated for right guard, plugged in at left guard and Sonny Tevaga was at right guard with Nick Ekbatani at right tackle. Darius Savage, who had been working with the ones at left guard, did work with the 2s.

On defense, Korey Bosworth practiced, apparently unbothered by the minor ankle injury he suffered Sunday. Starting middle linebacker Reggie Carter left practice after getting hit hard.

Freshman Tony Dye, as we reported, is now working as a safety. Freshman Sean Westgate was promptly moved back to linebacker after a short-lived test at safety. Freshman Rahim Moore looks firmly implanted as the starting free safety for the Tennessee game.

The last 15 minutes or so of practice were interesting. The offense lined one side of the field and the defense on the other to run lines. Both the ones and twos on offense and defense would get a series against each other, run lines for a few minutes, and then do it again. This was done to the tune of "Rocky Top," Tennessee's fight song, alternated with the UCLA fight song. At practice was UCLA-committed quarterback Richard Brehaut and linebacker Todd Golper. Also watching was 6-6, 300-pound offensive line prospect Jose Acuna and 6-1, 310-pound defensive tackle Antonio Brown from Mt. San Jacinto JC.

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