Monday Morning Practice Report

Johnathan Franklin, after the standout performance at Saturday's scrimmage, works with the first-string offense, the starting offensive line looks set, and there is a bit of a dilemma at the #2 quarterback spot, and more...

Monday's practice was in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts), the first of two practices today.

It is, in fact, the last day of two practices.

As Rick Neuheisel talked about in the post-practice video, running back Christian Ramirez was out with the sprained ankle he suffered in the scrimmage. It's thought to be more serious than previously believed.

Defensive tackle Jerzy Siewierski returned to practice, but only participated in the individual drills and not the team drills.

Both Korey Bosworth and Kyle Bosworth were absent, having gone to Texas to be with their ailing grandfather.

Defensive tackle Andy Keane is out of the boot, but still not practicing.

Receiver Gavin Ketchum returned to practice.

Receiver Morrell Presley sat out some of practice with a quad issue. The extent is unknown.

Kicker Kai Forbath, who missed the scrimmage, is still out with a quad injury.

With Ramirez out, Johnathan Franklin took snaps with the #1 offense, leapfrogging Derrick Coleman in the hierarchy, at least for Monday morning. Franklin, after having a standout scrimmage Saturday, had another good practice Monday morning, look quick and shifty.

With Korey Bosworth not practicing, Damien Holmes moved into the #1 defensive end spot. Freshman defensive end Keenan Graham suffered a broken jaw, so that left freshman Iuta Tepa and former offensive lineman Connor Bradford as the second-string defensive ends.

Tepa looked good, pressuring the quarterback a couple of times, and once batting down a pass.

Tony Dye and Glenn Love alternated working with the #1 defense at strong safety, but the word is that Dye has the inside track to win the position. Dalton Hilliard was getting some time with the 2s at free safety. He was in position to make some plays during the 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, but dropped a couple of interceptions.

It appears that Courtney Viney has the inside track as the nickel back. Freshman Sheldon Price was getting some chances at the position also.

With Kyle Bosworth missing at weakside linebacker, Sean Westgate worked in with the first string.

Even though it hasn't been announced formally, the word is that the starting offensive line is set with Jeff Back at right tackle, Eddie Wiliams at right guard, Kai Maiava at center, Stan Hasiak at left guard and Xavier Su'a-Filo at left tackle.

The feeling around the program is that losing Micah Kia for the season to an ACL knee injury is a big blow. Kia, who was a true senior, would have platooned some with Hasiak at left guard, being able to provide 20 reps a game at the position, which would have given the freshman Hasiak some much-needed relief. Kia, also, has taken many of the younger OLs under his wing and is thought to be a leader of the unit.

The coaches have been pleased with the play of Ryan Taylor, the JC transfer center. If for whatever reason Hasiak falters at left guard, it's believed that Taylor could move to starting center and Maiava could shift over to left guard.

There is an interesting situation with the kick holder. It looks like walk-on punter Danny Rees has emerged as the holder, since the coaches like to have someone among the kickers/punters perform the duties, since they can work together during practice. It means he'll travel on away games, taking a spot away from another player at another position.

It appears that Richard Brehaut is the favorite for the #2 quarterback spot, which presents some interesting issues. Brehaut is a true freshman, and UCLA ideally would like to get through the season without him having to play, so he can be redshirted and be slotted in a year behind Kevin Prince. But at the #2 quarterback spot, it's likely he'd see some time over the course of the season, and it's arguable whether it'd be worth Brehaut burning his redshirt year, especially for some garbage time minutes at the end of a game. Also, if UCLA does redshirt Brehaut, it makes it more difficult for him to transfer since, when you transfer, you can use your redshirt for the year you need to sit out due to transfer rules. With the redshirt year being used, it could possibly dissuade someone from transferring since they'd then lose a year of eligibility.

There is Kevin Craft, but even though Craft has improved to a degree, there are still lingering memories from last season.

It's believed that, if for whatever reason, UCLA needed to go to the second-string quarterback sometime during the season, for just a quarter or a few series, the coaches might opt to use Craft. But, if Prince for some reason had to miss a couple of games, the coaches might then go with Brehaut. It's an interesting dilemma, and will probably be an issue the coaches will confront sometime this season.

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