UCLA: Justin Edison

Practice report: Wednesday quick hits

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
8:11
PM PT
UCLA practiced through an unusually hot afternoon in Westwood, going in full pads for the second practice of the bye week.

The Bruins will practice again Thursday and then take Friday and Saturday off before beginning game-week preparations for Arizona on Sunday. UCLA plays in Tucson on Thursday, Oct. 20, so the game week gets moved up a couple of days.

"I thought our guys pushed through and we got a lot accomplished," coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I think we’ll feel real good about it when we look at the film. We’ll try to get one more of those tomorrow and then give them a couple of days off, get their legs back and away we go on Sunday."

Neuheisel said he and the coaching staff would spend the weekend recruiting.

"We'll try to get out and about to all the local hotshots and make sure they know the Bruins are alive and well and engaging all the top student athletes in the area," Neuheisel said. "It’s a busy time, an important time and I think an exciting time as well, so looking forward to it."

A few tidbits:
  • Brett Hundley got a little more time in the passing game but seems to have a tendency to lock on to his primary receiver. Neuheisel said that's normal for freshmen. "I think all young quarterbacks do," Neuheisel said. "You have an idea of what a pass play is supposed to look like and you go to where it normally goes. When that breaks down, the question is how quickly do you move on? But everybody starts that way. But I think he’s moving quickly through that. Is he ready to do that with everything we have in our offense? I don’t think so, but still I’m pleased with his progress."
  • Neuheisel is not pleased with the way Hundley is carrying the ball when he runs, however. For the second consecutive day, Neuheisel made Hundley do pushups because he didn't ave the ball tucked close to his body when scrambling away from pressure. "I just want him to understand that he’s playing at a different level and there are going to be strong guys trying to grab that ball and it’s important that he secure it," Neuheisel said.
  • Offensive lineman Albert Cid did not dress for practice. Cid left the practice field with shortness of breath Tuesday and it's thought that and an illness is the cause, so he was held out for precautionary reasons.
  • Offensive lineman Chris Ward went back to full speed after missing the last week because of a shoulder injury. He was playing mostly with the No. 2 offensive line, but got some reps at No. 1 guard as well.
  • Linebacker Glenn Love was participating in team drills for the first time since pulling a hamstring two weeks ago.
  • The receiving corps is still a little thin with Nelson Rosario again sitting out because of a sprained foot and Shaquelle Evans not dressed because of concussion symptoms. Jerry Johnson's on-again, off-again practice routine continued and he sat out.
  • Cornerback Sheldon Price dressed in shorts and shoulder pads only and did some light work on the side. Safeties Tony Dye (neck) and Alex Mascarenas (concussion) also remained out.
  • Defensive lineman Justin Edison was out of his red no-contact jersey, an indication that he has cleared the concussion protocol.

Practice report: Tuesday quick hits

October, 11, 2011
10/11/11
9:18
PM PT
UCLA began its bye week with a light practice in shorts and shoulder pads with position groups spending more time than normal doing individual drills and shorter periods of team vs. team drills.

It's all part of the plan, coach Rick Neuheisel said, to use this week as a mini training camp and sharpen the fundamentals.

"It was a good day of work considering what the week needs to be, which is a return to basics, a return to fundamental play," Neuheisel said. "Just making sure that we have the inventory offensively and defensively and in special teams to be able to compete and compete successfully in the second half of the season starting in Tucson."

A few tidbits:
  • Brett Hundley got extensive work with the first-team offense, part of the plan to get him ready to play if necessary. Hundley, a true freshman, is now No. 2 on the quarterback depth chart but has yet to play in a game. "There are a number of players that are going to get crash courses, if you will, to make sure that they are ready for the second half of our season," Neuheisel said. "Brett Hundley would be a guy in that category."
  • Richard Brehaut attended practice on crutches and in a boot-type cast. Neuheisel said Brehaut's broken fibula was a "clean break" and that he wouldn't be surprised to see Breahut back at the short end of his three-to-six-week prognosis. "There is every reason to think that he can make it back," Neuheisel said. "Knowing his history of healing quickly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back before too long."
  • Receiver Nelson Rosario, not listed on UCLA's official injury report, did not dress for practice because of a sprained foot. He said the injury occurred on his second-quarter catch Saturday night against Washington State, a 41-yard reception that set up UCLA's first touchdown, and that he was able to play through it the rest of the game. "My foot is sore and stuff like that, but I’ll be all right," said Rosario, who finished with three catches for 120 yards. "It kind of got landed on on the first catch that I had. It’s not something too serious to be worried about. I’ll be fine."
  • Receiver Shaquelle Evans also did not dress for practice because of concussion-like symptoms. He took a knee to the head during his game-winning touchdown reception Saturday night. "The safety tried to jump over me and caught his knee on the side of my helmet," Evans said. "It knocked me out. My body was limp for a minute. They say I have a concussion. I've been taking tests every day."
  • Safety Tony Dye did not dress for practice again as he continues to try to recover from a nerve issue in his neck. Neuheisel hinted that if things do not clear up soon, Dye, who played the first three games but has missed the last three, could be headed for a redshirt season. "We’re trying to just rest him up and see if whatever is ailing him can subside," Neuheisel said. "Ultimately we’ll make a decision next week as to where he is and where his future is with respect to this season."
  • Cornerback Sheldon Price, who has missed the last two games because of a sprained MCL, was not dressed for practice, but did some light running on the side despite wearing a large brace. Cornerback Anthony Jefferson suited up for the first time this season and did some light individual drills. Safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion) did not dress for practice. Defensive lineman Justin Edison (concussion) was back in practice wearing a no-contact red jersey after sitting out last week. Running back Johnathan Franklin (shoulder) also wore a non-contact red jersey but was not limited during the light practice.

Injury report: Price, Mascarenas, Edison out

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
7:28
PM PT
Cornerback Sheldon Price (knee), safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion), defensive lineman Justin Edison (concussion) and F-back Anthony Barr (knee) will sit out of UCLA's game against Washington State on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, according the the team's official injury report.

All four have started for the Bruins this season, but none has practiced this week. Barr had surgery last week to repair cartilage in his meniscus and will miss at least three weeks.

Price was injured two weeks ago against Oregon State and missed the game last week against Stanford. Mascarenas suffered a concussion -- his second this season -- during practice last week and also missed the Stanford game. He hasn't practiced since. Edison suffered a concussion in the Stanford game and was held out of practice all week.

Kicker Kip Smith (hip flexor) and offensive lineman Chris Ward (shoulder) are listed as doubtful for Saturday's game and are also unlikely to play.

Linebacker David Allen (knee) was on crutches Tuesday, but dressed for practice Wednesday and was full speed on Thursday. Allen, who plays mostly on special teams, is listed as questionable for Saturday.

Safety Tony Dye (neck), who has missed the last two games, practiced in a red no-contact jersey for the second consecutive day and is listed as questionable for the game. Linebacker Glenn Love (hamstring) did some running on the side, but has not practiced this week and is listed as questionable. Safety Dalton Hilliard (shoulder) and linebacker Sean Westgate (hand) are listed as probable. Both have fully practiced all week, though Westgate is wearing a club to protect his hand.

The Bruins have a bye week next week and don't play again until Oct. 20 at Arizona, so coach Rick Neuheisel is hopeful that the majority of his injured players will have plenty of time to heal. He said Price and Ward, in particular, should be ready to go by then.

Practice report: Tuesday quick hits

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
9:19
PM PT
The UCLA Bruins returned to the practice field Tuesday, licking their wounds from a 45-19 loss at Stanford and looking ahead to a game against Washington State that appears it will be much tougher than anyone might have predicted before the season.

The Cougars are 3-1 and coming off of an impressive comeback victory at Colorado. That's actually good news for UCLA, which practiced as if they were not taking the Cougars lightly even though Washington State went 5-32 the previous three seasons.

"I think our guys came to work and are looking forward to what promises to be a big-time game against a hot team in Washington State," coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I know that they’re riding high and I know that their confidence is brimming because it’s been lean for them over the past several years and they’ve believed in Coach [Paul] Wulff’s mantra that the thing was going to turn and it’s turning. So this is going to be an inspired team that comes in."

Neuheisel is the right guy to be coaching in this game. He never has lost a game against Washington State having gone 8-0 against the Cougars in his coaching stops at UCLA, Washington and Colorado.

"All those games in the past are in the past," Neuheisel said. "It’s all about this game and this particular UCLA team against their particular Washington State team."

A few tidbits from practice:

(Read full post)

UCLA injury report: Barr has knee surgery

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
4:01
PM PT
F-back Anthony Barr had arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and will be out at least three weeks, coach Rick Neuheisel announced Monday.

Barr, who has a rushing and a receiving touchdown this season, injured his knee Sept. 24 during UCLA's 27-19 victory over Oregon State.

"Hopefully he'll be back as soon as possible," Neuheisel said.

Cornerback Sheldon Price (knee), defensive lineman Justin Edison (concussion), safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion), linebacker David Allen (knee) and kicker Kip Smith (hip flexor) are listed as questionable for Saturday's game against Washington State. Linebacker Sean Westgate (hand), offensive lineman Chris Ward (shoulder) and safeties Tony Dye (neck), Dalton Hilliard (shoulder) are listed as probable.

Price suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament when stomping in frustration after missing an interception against Oregon State. He did not make the trip to Stanford last week, but Neuheisel said "surgery has been ruled out."

Mascarenas did not practice after Tuesday last week and was held out against Stanford. It is the second concussion he's had this season, so the return time takes longer.

"That's what makes it into the questionable category," Neuheisel said. "You want to be very careful as it's the second one this season."

Edison, Ward and Westgate were injured against Stanford. Dye has missed the last two games, Smith the last three and Hilliard missed the Stanford game.

UCLA Depth chart review: Defensive line

August, 5, 2011
8/05/11
3:58
PM PT
With UCLA preparing to open fall camp on August 8, we will break down the depth charts at each position in order to look at how the Bruins stack up heading into this season. We started with quarterbacks and now switch to the defensive line.

Current depth charts:

LEFT END

Datone Jones (Jr., 6-5, 275)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa (So., 6-4, 266)

Iuta Tepa (So., 6-3, 260)

TACKLE

Cassius Marsh (So., 6-3, 289)

Nate Chandler (Sr., 6-4, 292)

Sam Tai (Fr., 6-4, 251)

TACKLE

Justin Edison (Sr., 6-4, 285)

Donovan Carter (Jr., 6-2, 295)

Seali’i Epenesa (So., 6-2, 308)

RIGHT END

Damien Holmes (Jr., 6-3, 270)

Keenan Graham (So., 6-3, 255)

Wesley Flowers (Fr., 6-5, 254)

Derrick Bryant (Fr., 6-3, 251)

This unit is the biggest source of hope for Bruins fans.

A year ago, youth and inexperience led to a defensive line that proved porous against the run and rarely scared quarterbacks with pressure. Now, there are five sophomores in the three-deep who all got significant game experience last year and come into the season well-seasoned and ready to make this unit a strength of the team.

But as exciting as it will be to see Cassius Marsh, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Seali’i Epenesa, Iuta Tepa and Keenan Graham grow as players, the biggest cause for optimism lies in the return of Datone Jones.

Jones, a 13-game starter as a sophomore in 2009, sat out last season after breaking his foot in fall camp. He had four sacks and 11 tackles for a loss two years ago -- totals that would have led the Bruins last season -- and will prove to be quite a handful for opposing offensive linemen.

If opponents spend too much time worrying about Jones, however, this deep and talented unit will make them pay. Odighizuwa, for instance, had four sacks and 10 tackles for a loss last season despite not having a full-time job. Look for him to get significant minutes this season as the top reserve at both ends and don't be surprised to see him steal a starting role at some point.

Holmes made significant strides in spring practice and emerged at the top of the depth chart because of his improved play. While not as athletic as some of the other ends, he's a steady, smart high-motor guy who gets the job done. Graham and Tepa each showed last season that they can make an impact, so look for them to offer valuable minutes off the bench.

In the middle, Marsh has the perfect combination of size, quickness and toughness to be a major disruptive force. He's a major talent who should break though this season as long as he can keep his head on his shoulders. He has a tendency to lose his cool, but should help fill the void left by David Carter, who was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.

Nate Chandler is probably the most athletic interior lineman on the team. He's still grasping the nuances of the role after bouncing around from position to position his first three years, but as the season goes on he should snag a starting job. Justin Edison and Donovan Carter bring tons of experience to the front and, while not flashy, they are rock solid performers. Epenesa is the big, strong, hole-clogging body that will serve well against teams trying to run up the middle.

The biggest reason for optimism among the defensive line is its depth. Any player in the two deep could be a starter by the time the season rolls around and there isn't much dropoff three deep at most of the positions. With so many interchangeable parts, defensive coordinator Joe Tresey and defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield have the luxury of liberal substitutions to keep players fresh for a front line will cause problems for offenses.

That wasn't the case last season when Red Sea-sized holes up front caused UCLA to finish 108th in the nation in rushing defense by giving up 205.5 yards rushing a game, but all signs point to the defensive line being a vastly improved unit this season.

UCLA practice report: Tuesday quick hits

October, 5, 2010
10/05/10
11:37
PM PT
UCLA practiced in the rain for much of Tuesday, but it didn't dampen the Bruins' enthusiasm as they went through a spirited and energetic session.

"I was pleased with the practice given the elements," coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I thought the guys were into it, very excited about coming back to work."

A few tidbits from practice:
  • Quarterback Kevin Prince returned and fully participated for the first time since injuring his knee against Texas. He looked good, but acknowledged there is still swelling in the knee. "Once Saturday rolls around, I think I’ll be 100%," he said.
  • Receiver Nelson Rosario was on crutches and Neuheisel said the Bruins' leading receiver is "questionable for the game against California because of what Neuheisel called a "significant sprain" in his ankle suffered Saturday against Washington State. "Nelson’s ankle will probably keep him from the game this week," Neuheisel said. "I’m not ruling him out forever, but we’ll wait and see, but it’ll be hard for him to make it this week."
  • True freshman Owamagbe Odighizuwa has officially been moved to No. 1 on the depth chart at left defensive end. Nate Chandler, who started there the first five games, will move over to tackle and Justin Edison becomes a backup at tackle. Odighizuwa, a prized recruit out of high school, said he has worked hard to earn the starting role. "It’s something I’ve always wanted and was willing to work hard for it," said the 6-foot-4, 240-pound lineman. "This is college football and sometimes it takes time for guys to move up. It’s not that easy to just come in and snatch a spot."
  • Safety Dalton Hilliard did not practice because of a separated shoulder, but Neuheisel said there was a chance he could return to practice this week.
  • F-back Christian Ramirez rejoined the team after missing last week to deal with unspecified personal issues.

Bruins to go deeper into defensive rotation

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
7:10
PM PT
Despite the issues among the defensive front seven in UCLA's 31-22 loss to Kansas State, the UCLA depth chart for the Stanford game is not getting any major overhaul. Coach Rick Neuheisel did say, however, that non starters would get more playing time than they did last week.

"I look at the numbers from the first game and a number of guys on our front played an inordinate amount of plays," Neuheisel said. "[Defensive lineman] Justin Edison I’ve been told played more plays in that one game than he had played all season long last year."

UCLA lost the time of possession battle, 35:56-24:04, meaning the Bruins' defense was on the field quite a bit, but since many of the backups are freshmen or sophomores with little or no playing experience, Neuheisel said he was hesitant to substitute.

"In that kind of environment, playing the first game, especially in as a close a game as it turned out to be, it’s hard to put guys in for their first snap," he said. "But we’ve got to find ways to spell guys so they can play 100 miles an hour."

To that end, Neuheisel said some of the younger players would go head-to-head in a 10 or 15-play scrimmage Tuesday in order to see who is ready to play.

Iuta Tepa, Cassius Marsh, Seali'i Epenesa, Keenan Graham, Donovan Carter and Owamagbe Odighizuwa are among the freshman and sophomore defensive linemen who played sparingly or not at all against Kansas State. Freshman linebacker Jordan Zumwalt also did not play.

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