Fall camp kicks off this Monday, August 4th, in San Bernardino, California, where Jim Mora has brought his team to bond, sweat, and practice… but mostly to sweat. In the blistering heat, the Bruins hope to develop a sense of immunity to weather conditions and an ability to focus on one thing and one thing only: football. As you can see, it’s not going to be easy for the Bruins who’s main concern, even prior to football, will be hydration. As of now (3:25 on Friday, August 1st), some weather services report the temperature at a whopping 106 degrees. Other than heat, though, there is a lot to keep your eyes open for in San Bernardino.
First and foremost, expect the true freshman of the team, who’s first trip to hell is this week, to either struggle or embrace the difficulty of the heat. The older guys have been there before — they know what to do, but the young men who are new to this program are going to have a lot to do and very little to work with. You can learn a lot about an athletes work ethic by putting them in an uncomfortable environment.
Furthermore, fall camp is yet another opportunity to watch for rising stars. Many have pegged wide receiver Eldridge Massington as this years breakout player, but watch for the “year to year” developments of sophomore tight end Thomas Duarte.
With quarterback Brett Hundley telling ESPN in an interview that UCLA will be in the college football playoffs this year, and that he has confidence in his team based on their maturity, see if you can find the minute developments of the young players on the offensive and defensive lines — as all games are won in the trenches.
Fall camp tends to signify the beginning of college football, and with it nearly upon us, we are likely going to see the “true” system Jim Mora is trying to run. It is said that it generally takes three years of coaching in one program to fully put your mark on it, Ultimately recruiting three years worth of the talent you are looking for.
Tellingly enough, Jim Mora’s third season is on track to be the best in recent UCLA history, so keep your eyes open as this team develops, and Go Joe Bruin will keep you posted as story lines develop.