Practice Notes, Neuheisel Comments

UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel talked on Tuesday about Kevin Prince, some injuries to starters and a walk-on getting a scholarship...

Opening statement
"Good practice. You know, a little warm. I just reminded them that it will be about 20 degrees warmer when we get to Kansas, so, hopefully we'll get a taste of that when we get out to the Rose Bowl on Friday. Excited about where everybody is, we just have to get all of these sore guys back and bask as soon as possible. Kevin Prince did a little more today – still lingering, so, I don't know what that means. We'll just have to wait and see. I can't answer questions about what that means, other than we'll get (Richard) Brehaut ready to play and see how it goes. And then, with respect to other guys that are nicked, hopefully we'll get the back this week so they'll be ready for a full game week of practice because if they don't have a full game week of practice then they won't play in the game."

With what you saw from Prince throwing the ball, did you see …
"He threw the ball fine, he just said it hurts a little, so we've got to see why."

Did you guys shut him down after that?
"Yeah. Just wanted to let him cut a few loose and see … He said it didn't get worse, which was good news."

Was he scheduled to throw more?
"No, that was it. He was on a pitch count."

As you start game-planning now is it going to be with Kevin in mind or with Richard?
"Well, the game plan doesn't change with who is in the game, It will be the same plan. But we just need to make sure those other guys are ready to play. "The other thing I should mention is we've decided to give a scholarship to Andrew Abbott. He's worked his tail off. He's earned it. And we're excited about him winning that opportunity."

Coach, Ricky Marvray?
"Ricky has got a little sore back. I expect him back tomorrow."

And what about Sheldon Price's finger? He was out there, obviously …
"The key to that was just have it covered so there could be no infection. There was no fracture. It should be fine, and not anything on it by the time we play."

And what about Rahim?
"Rahim has got a little bit of a tight groin, but it's better today. I think he'll be fine."

The game planning, you usually have a week to do that. Now, you get two weeks to do that. Does that allow you to do more, or scheme more?
"Well, you have to be careful about that. You're absolutely right. There's an inclination to want more, because you have more time. But how many plays are in a game is still the same number. So, you have to be careful that we're running what we can run and running it well, and it can hold up to the scrutiny of a hostile environment. It's going to be a great test for a young team to go in there … very few seniors, but the seniors that are playing are really hugely important to us."

So what plays will you keep in and what plays will you not keep in?
"We'll get that to you on Sunday the 5th."

Darius Bell didn't seem to take many reps today …
"I think we're nursing a sore arm there."

With the difference between Prince and Brehaut, can you do as much as Kevin? Would you be scaling things back a bit?
"I think he can do everything, but I think what we want to work on is making sure that he's comfortable with everything. So, it would be a slightly lesser plan."

And, (Kai) Forbath is OK?
"Forbath is fine. You know, we're just going to nurse him a little bit. But, obviously, it's concerning when he's not feeling great. "

Kevin Prince was able to do a lot more than he had the past few days. He went through individual drills and ran more plays during team than he had been – mostly running plays. But he also was able to throw some routes to receivers working 1 on 1 against the cornerbacks and safeties. He hit his first five passes and six of eight in that period and had some zip on the ball.

- Prince was not pain free, however. He said there still was some pain lingering in his oblique, that was restricting his ability to make some throws.

- Freshman running back Malcolm Jones was out of the protective boot, but was held out of practice because of the sprained ankle that he suffered in the scrimmage.

- Freshman running back Jordon James also remains out with a hamstring strain.

- Redshirt freshman Ricky Marvray did not practice because of some tightness in his back. 

So, are you encouraged by the throwing?
"Obviously, it's a lot more than we've been doing and I was pleased with the way the ball was coming out. I was still accurate with it. Even though there was some pain along with the throwing, it didn't necessarily affect my accuracy. It took a little bit of the zip off, I didn't get everything I wanted to on it, but I for enough on it. It was progress."

The fact that you're still feeling it a little, how much of a concern is that?
"It's a concern, for sure. But we're just going to keep on trying to do everything we can to get it right. Might have to do extra treatments, do whatever we've got to do, but we have to get this thing feeling better."

Are you concerned about how it might feel tomorrow, after all of the work that you did today?
"I'm not concerned. You know, I'm excited to see how it feels. I'm hoping It feels just fine tomorrow If it feels like it did when I woke up this morning, we'll know that we can continue to build and not take a step backward. I'm excited to see how it reacts."

How confident are you that you'll be able to play Friday and at Kansas State?
"Pretty confident. You know, with it like this I feel like I can fight through it. Obviously, that's not what the coaches want me to do. Obviously, that's not what the trainers want me to do, But I was able to fight through some stuff today and hopefully, it just continues to improve so that I don't have to fight through it."

Is there a target date for you to be back fully?
"No, there's no real timetable on this thing. Whenever it heals up, It's kind of tough to judge on a muscle strain type of deal. It's not a definitive thing, like it is with torn ligaments and stuff, where it's a proven science with the rehab and all that. This is just kind of based off of each person and for me it's taken a little longer than we wanted."

A little off topic, talk you talk a little about Ryan Taylor at center?
"I think he's a great center. I think that's where he's comfortable at. I know he was going to be at guard with Kai (Maiava) in there and he was fine with it. As long as he was able to help and play he was fine with it. But I think he's kind of at home at the center position. He's been doing a great job for the few days that he's had to step in there."

How close are you to really being able to let it rip?
"It depends on the type of ball that I need to throw. With shorter-range stuff, I feel like I can let loose, pretty much all go, like I used to. When it gets to longer balls, post-type routes, go's, deep comebacks, those are the ones I'm still struggling on a little bit in terms of pain level and being able to completely convince myself to just let it loose. Those are things we're still going to work on."

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