Report From First Day of Practice

It was a pretty eventful first day of fall practice for UCLA, with one OL getting suspended, another having eligibility issues, and the quarterback looking fantastic, as well as a freshman F back...

It was a split session for the first day of practice, with the 1s and 4s going for an hour and a half, and then the 2s and 3s for the second hour and a half, with the overlap on special teams in the middle.

Perhaps the biggest news was junior offensive lineman Mike Harris being suspended from the first game for violation of team rules.

There is also some late-breaking news about another offensive line starter: Eligibility Issue for Starter.

Josh Smith tweaked a muscle and sat out some of practice. Freshman cornerback Anthony Jefferson also had a little nick and had to leave the field.

On the field, quarterback Kevin Prince looked particularly impressive. He was throwing the ball with ease, making long throws without straining at all, and making all the short throws with accuracy and touch. He hit a few receivers on post routes in stride.

If you're comparing quarterback performances on the first day of fall practice over the last 10 years, this was probably the best.

It's clear that Prince has gotten stronger and isn't hampered by injury in his throwing motion, because it's so effortless, regardless if he's throwing the ball down the field 45 yards.

Among the other quarterbacks, Nick Crissman had a number of good throws. Richard Brehaut was accurate throwing short but struggled with the longer connections.

The JC transfer quarterback Darius Bell didn't have a good first day. Initially, in throwing to undefended receivers, he threw the ball well down the field. But in the one-on-ones, 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, he struggled to make the throws. Now, it's necessary to point out that most every quarterback has struggled on his first day at practice.

Many receivers looked good. Nelson Rossario had a couple of nice catches on long balls. Randall Carroll made a nice leaping catch along the sideline. Ricky Marvray caught a pair of balls on posts, one in which he had to dive while juggling the ball.

Perhaps the two offensive players that stood out the most besides Prince were Christian Ramirez and true freshman Anthony Barr, both at the F-back spot. Ramirez looked particularly good catching passes out of the backfield. Barr made the catch of the day, spinning around and brining in the ball with one arm. It's clear that Barr has the chance to be a weapon and the UCLA coaches will have to get him some touches.

On the offensive line, Jeff Baca was working at left tackle, with Ryan Taylor at left guard, Kai Maiava at center, Eddie Williams at right guard and Micah Kia at right tackle.

The second-string offensive line consisted of Sean Sheller at LT, Casey Griffiths at lefrt guard, Greg Capella at center, Darius Savage at right guard and Mike Harris at right tackle.

On the first-string defensive line was Datone Jones at the strongside defensive end spot, David Carter and Justin Edison at the tackle spots, and Damien Holmes at the weakside end position.

Nate Chandler worked at defensive tackle with the 2s.

Steve Sloan and Sean Westgate were with the 1st on defense at middle linebacker and weakside linebacker. Glenn Love, with the second string at weakside, had an interception.

Among the defensive backs, Aaron Hester looked good in coverage, having a good explosion to the ball. Safety Dalton Hilliard also had a good burst to close down receivers.

Running back Damien Thigpen was working at cornerback, and had a few good break-ups.

True freshman kicker/punter Kip Smith was hitting booming punts.

Tre Hale, a defensive tackle from La Verne (Calif.) Damien, who got some recruiting interest, is walking on.

Byron Moore, the ex-Trojan who is now at Harbor College, attended practice. Also there were recruits Darryl Jackson, the massive 2009 offensive line prospect from Lakewood Mayfair who had committed to SMU, but was told late he wouldn't qualify, and 2010 defensive end Devante Wilson, from Corona High, who definitely passed the eyeball test.


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