UCLA Football Spring Practice Preview 2018: Defensive Backs

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 31: Nate Meadors
PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 31: Nate Meadors /
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PASADENA, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Octavius Spencer
PASADENA, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Octavius Spencer /

UCLA Football Spring Practice Preview 2018: Defensive Backs (cont.)

A list if Defensive Backs that should get the majority of reps this spring:

Nathan Meadors, Sr, 5-11, 195 lbs.

Darnay Holmes, So, 5-10, 195 lbs.

Adarius Pickett, Jr-R, 5-11, 195 lbs.

Colin Samuel, Jr-R, 6-3, 205 lbs.

Octavius Spencer, Sr, 5-11, 180 lbs.

Will Lockett, Jr-R, 5-11, 190 lbs.

Denzel Fisher, Sr-R, 6-1, 175 lbs.

Mo Osling III, So, 6-2, 185 lbs.

Elijah Gates, So, 5-10, 180 lbs.

Keyon Riley, So-R, 6-0, 200 lbs.

Quentin Lake, So, 6-1, 185 lbs.

This missing piece here is Jaleel Wadood. Other than that, a whole lot of players return and there is going to be a lot of experience flowing through the secondary this fall, but first spring. Though there should be new terminology with Azzinaro’s defense, expect the returning DBs to quickly grasp the new concepts as there are a lot of intelligent players in this group.

Let us start with the corners. When Meadors said he was coming back, there wasn’t so much a sigh of relief but more of a collective fist-pump by the fanbase. Meadors has been a very but impressive players since his freshman year. He was 4th in tackles last season with 55 (UCLA’s top four tacklers last season were DBs) and had one interception and 9 pass breakups. Meadors is a big hitter and excellent in coverage. His athleticism was not used to its potential last season, so I can see him making a jump in development under Rhoads.

Holmes was impressive as freshman, who was projected to get a lot of playing time and ended the season starting 11 times. He had three interceptions and was 9th on the team in tackles with 39, so he got around. He also had a few targeting calls, which showed a little bit of his freshmen tendencies. If the coaches can compress that energy, Holmes could have a break out season as his athleticism should help him flourish in this system.

Backing them up will be Fisher and Samuels who we expected to have a jump in development as last season, they did not exactly make a huge impact. They are two of the biggest DBs in the group, which give them a size advantage, so if the coaches get them to play quicker, they could be reliable lockdown corners.