Friday, August 13, 2010
Full pads lead to loud hits
By Blair Angulo
Some notes and video from UCLA's first full-pads practice of fall camp:
-- True freshman tailback Jordon James sat out because of a strained hamstring. "We'll nurse him along," coach Rick Neuheisel said. James has been impressive in his first camp.
-- Sophomore tight end Joseph Fauria took the day off because of a lingering groin problem, Neuheisel said. The coaching staff was hopeful Fauria would return over the weekend.
-- More from Neuheisel:
-- There was plenty of hitting Friday, despite the fact coaches want players to stay on their feet and simulate tackles.
-- True freshman Dietrich Riley impressed again, this time flattening fellow first-year Anthony Barr -- all 6 feet 5 of him -- with a vicious hit near the sideline. Barr caught a ball off the edge but gained minimal yardage after Riley met him and lowered his shoulder for the loud tackle.
-- The other loud hit came near the end of practice, when freshman linebacker Isaiah Bowens completely dropped ball carrier Tobi Umodu on his back. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough stormed toward Bowens yelling, "That's what I'm talking about!" Umodu was in good spirits, but appeared a bit shaken by the blow. When the team began its conditioning drills minutes later, Umodu got tangled up with Johnathan Franklin as both ran toward each other from opposite ends. The two laughed it off.
-- Franklin credits a rigorous offseason workout schedule for his speed bursts. Now it's all about taking hits and securing the football.