It was the first time Go Joe Bruin got a chance to sample the UCLA Football team in fall camp and was wowed by the defense and noticed a certain running back making a name for himself.
There is good news and progressing news. First, the good news. The UCLA Football team still has a fantastic defense. Though Tom Bradley’s squad lost a lot of players, there are plenty that are doing their part to make sure the Bruins’ D does not skip a beat.
Two players that are evidence of this are the two freshman you have been hearing about since spring, DE Jaelan Phillips and DB Darnay Holmes.
I noticed Phillips immediately, primarily because of how he carries himself. He was always ready and in position before each play, something not typical of freshmen. He also has a lot of confidence, but is not cocky. Every time he was on the line, he explodes up and worked his tail off to get around the O-line.
Holmes is similar in the way he carries himself. To paraphrase Bradley from last week, “these guys are no longer freshmen”. Holmes is incredible in coverage from the way he moves his head to the way he stays with his man to knowing where his hands should be, this guy is definitely ahead of the curve.
The progressive news is that the Bruins’ offense is slowly coming together, especially with a few standout performances, but as a whole, there is a lot of work to do.
So let us start with the individual players.
The one Bruin that stood out was none other than Bolu Olorunfunmi, who was taking the majority of snaps with the 1s. Every time Olorunfunmi got his hands on the ball, he would make something out of it.
Not only was he finding gaps (props to the offensive line), but he was churning out 10+ yard runs. The best part is when the Bruin defenders would try to make a hit on him, Bolu would stay standing and often knocked his defender back.
Noticeably, Soso Jamabo did not have a lot of reps.