Oct 3, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) celebrates with fullback Nate Iese (32) after scoring on a 7-yard touchdown pass against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Practice: Fullback Nate Iese Brings Power To UCLA


Having 6’3″, 245 lbs. redshirt sophomore Nate Iese as a fullback for the UCLA football team, is another tale out of Spring Practice that is quickly becoming a story of interest. The fullback position is typically used as a power position and has not been integral in the Bruin offense as of late. This year, it looks as if Iese will have a big part in bringing power back to UCLA’s sets.

Iese had played some tight end coming into UCLA and even some defense, but last year, he moved to the fullback position. The majority of his time was spent blocking, but he said that his roll this season would be expanded. Not so much as a running back, but more as a receiver. This is exciting stuff.

Check the video of Iese from the OC Register.

UCLA has not utilized the fullback in a long time. Former coach Rick Neuheisel used the Pistol set to run his offense, which did not have a lot for a fullback to do. When head coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone came in, they used Pistol elements in a spread offense.

Last season, we saw another evolution in Bruin football as some power sets were brought into play. In the game at Arizona, we saw the emergence of Myles Jack (and even Eddie Vanderdoes) in these sets, which made it a very successful tool. The thing is, they are defensemen and the Bruins need some offensive players to run these schemes, if only to preserve the defense.

From what it looks like, Nate Iese will be part of this strategy as another big target for quarterback Brett Hundley. Iese has stated that he is good with his hands and that these schemes with a receiving fullback will only make the offense better. From an opposing coaches standpoint, it makes it a headache, because now you have to plan against the spread and the power formations.

If this is the case with Iese and an emerging power game at UCLA, then it will only take them forward. Call it a #BruinEvolution, if you will.

This seems to be all part of Mora’s plan. With talk of National Championships and Heisman Candidacy floating around Westwood, the Bruin head coach is taking every step to make sure this happens. The spread is great, but to have that extra element that can be effective against other teams that run power sets is genius. Right, Stanford?

Make no mistake, Jim Mora knows what he is doing. Come fall, so will Nate Iese.

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

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