UCLA: Brandon Beaver

Spring position breakdowns: Safety

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
8:00
PM PT
Our look at position groups in the Pac-12 continues with the safeties.

Arizona: The Wildcats have a lot of experience at safety with a combined 78 starts between Jourdon Grandon, Tra'Mayne Bondurant and Jared Tevis. All three of their backups on the AdvoCare V100 Bowl depth chart -- Anthony Lopez, William Parks and Jamar Allah -- also return.

Arizona State: Damarious Randall returns as one of the more talented safeties in the conference after a season in which he finished tied for third on the team with 71 tackles. Marcus Ball is a strong candidate to eventually earn the job next to Randall, but he's still working his way back from a clavicle injury that cost him the 2013 season. Laiu Moeakiola, who appeared in 10 games last year as a reserve, James Johnson, Jayme Otomewo and Ezekiel Bishop are other names to watch.

California: Cal started five different players at safety last year and four of them -- Michael Lowe, Cameron Walker, Avery Sebastian and Damariay Drew -- will be back. Sebastian began the year in the starting lineup and had an interception and 10 tackles before suffering a season-ending Achilles tear in the first half of the season opener. Look for him to regain his starting job next to Lowe.

Colorado: The Buffs need to replace SS Parker Orms, who had 26 career starts and 10 last season, but FS Jered Bell will return. All three of the players competing to replace Orms -- Marques Mosley, Terrel Smith and Tedric Thompson -- have started at least three games. Smith redshirted last season after he underwent shoulder surgery and has 19 career starts.

Oregon: The Ducks lose both Brian Jackson and Avery Patterson from a secondary that has consistently been among the nation's best. Fifth-year senior Erick Dargan, Patterson's high school teammate, looks to slide into his first full-time starting role after three years of meaningful contributions on both special teams and reserve duty. Opposite him, Issac Dixon is the presumed favorite with Tyree Robinson and Reggie Daniels also in the mix.

Oregon State: The Beavers have both Ryan Murphy and Tyrequek Zimmerman back for their third year as starters, which should help soften the blow of losing CB Rashaad Reynolds. A few others to watch are sophomore Cyril Noland-Lewis, Justin Strong, Brandon Arnold, Zack Robinson and walk-on Micah Audiss, who was No. 2 behind Zimmerman in the season-ending depth chart.

Stanford: Ed Reynolds' early departure for the NFL creates the one real unknown spot for the Cardinal. Two former offensive players -- QB Dallas Lloyd and WR Kodi Whitfield -- are in the competition for the vacant spot, as is Kyle Olugbode. Zach Hoffpauir will join the competition once baseball season is over. The winner will play next to Jordan Richards, a senior who has started the past two seasons and played regularly as a freshman.

UCLA: Starters Randall Goforth and Anthony Jefferson are both back after being named all-Pac-12 honorable mention last season. Two names to watch are Tahaan Goodman and Tyler Foreman, both of whom arrived as part of the Class of 2013.

USC: Su'a Cravens and Josh Shaw are back, but the Trojans will have to replace Dion Bailey, who left early for the NFL after converting to safety from linebacker last year. Shaw could wind up back at corner, which would open the door for Leon McQuay III. Gerald Bowman got a medical redshirt after appearing in three games last year and should provide depth.

Utah: Veteran Eric Rowe is set to begin his fourth year as a starter in the Utes' secondary, but he'll play next to a new player with Michael Walker out of eligibility. Charles Henderson was Walker's primary backup last season, but look for junior-college transfer Tevin Carter -- a former Cal Bear -- to challenge him for the starting job.

Washington: The Huskies are looking to fill both starting spots and will likely do so with young players. Sophomores Brandon Beaver, Kevin King and Trevor Walker all saw spot duty last year and the program signed an impressive crop of high school safeties, including Bellevue's Bishard “Budda” Baker.

Washington State: Replacing Deone Bucannon means replacing one of the school's all-time greats at his position. Isaac Dotson looks like the favorite to take that spot, but will be pushed by David Bucannon, Darius Lemora and true freshman Markell Sanders, who arrived for spring practice.



Devin Lucien happy with UCLA's direction

December, 17, 2011
12/17/11
2:13
PM PT
There never was a question regarding Devin Lucien's readiness as a true freshman. Those who saw him during fall camp gushed about the potential and raw ability.

But with three seniors and two juniors making up the receiving corps, there was no need to rush the process. Lucien understands that, though he wasn't necessarily thrilled with the decision.

"I hated redshirting," Lucien said. "I hated it with a passion, especially when traveling with the team because you do everything but you don't play."

After Rick Neuheisel was fired, Lucien said he'd reassess his options based on which coach UCLA hired, according to the Orange County Register. Making Lucien's decision easier was coach Jim Mora's hiring of Arizona State receivers coach Steve Broussard, who nearly lured Lucien to Tempe out of high school.

"I'm really excited with the new coaching staff," Lucien said. "I've been able to talk to coach Mora one time and I'm just really excited for next year. I'm hungry as can be and I'm ready to go."

Other news and notes from Saturday’s practice, as the Bruins continued to prepare for the Dec. 31 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against Illinois:

-- A flock of local recruits unofficially visited campus and met Mora for the first time, attending the latter half of Saturday's practice. The bunch included highly touted defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia), defensive backs Brandon Beaver (Dominguez) and Kevon Seymour (Muir), lineman Jeremy Castro (Vista Murrieta) and offensive linemen Kyle Long (Saddleback College) and Colby Cyburt (Mission Viejo). Linebacker Aaron Porter (La Habra) and lineman Lacy Westbrook, among a group of those already committed to UCLA, also attended.

-- Quarterback Kevin Prince returned to practice after missing Friday's session with a sore knee. "I thought he looked good," interim coach Mike Johnson said. "He came out with good energy and I thought he made the right checks and got the ball out of his hand. I thought the day off was good for him."

-- Johnson, a candidate for the head coaching position at Akron, had no update on his job status, but said he anticipates to make a decision early next week. "There's a couple of things out there that I'm looking at," Johnson added. "Probably sometime next week I'll know."

-- It just keeps getting worse for safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion), who has been out of practice since the middle of November. Mascarenas suffered two cuts above his left eye when Randall Carroll ran into him during an interception return, needing a towel to wipe off the blood. He was taken into the trainer's room.

-- Interim quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo, who will serve as the tight ends coach on Mora's staff, combined both groups for a quick-pass drill early in practice.

-- Safety Dalton Hilliard once again practiced in a red no-contact jersey.

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