UCLA Football Spring Practice Preview 2018: Defensive Backs (cont.)
Now to the safeties. Wadood leaves a lot to replace. The NFL hopefully had 79 tackles, third most on the team. Luckily the player that had the second most tackles on the team behind team leading Kenny Young is returning as Adarius Pickett will help keep consistency with the safeties. Last season he had 85 total tackles, one interception and three pass breakups.
Pickett is a big hitter and very instinctive. Hopefully the rest of the team, noteably the players in front of him, will lock up defenders so Pickett doesn’t have to do all the work this season, but it is good to know the Bruins have such an active and experienced player returning at the safety position.
Next to him should rise Spencer who brings a lot of experience (he played in all 13 games) but did not a lot of starts. He has progressed nicely and under the tutelage of Rhoads, Spencer should be able to take the next step in development. The coaches are going to demand speed and these two have the potential to be a killer defensive backfield combo, but there are a few others that will make an impact.
Lockett is durable because he can play both safety positions, so it would not surprise us if he plays along side Pickett. Lockett played in every game last season, but did not have a lot of stats under his belt as he only had 15 tackles and 1 pass breakup. With Wadood gone, the coaches are aging to need another vet to step up.
Looking towards the future, the Bruins will be brining in six freshmen.
★★★★ S Stephan Blaylock , ★★★ CB Rayshad Williams, ★★★ S Kenny Churchwell, ★★★ ATH Patrick Jolly, ★★★ CB Elisha Guidry, ★★★ S Je’Vari Anderson
Though they will be coming in the fall, Kelly, Azzinaro and Rhoads did some work in getting these “long and fast” players. Sure it will be fun to see this stack secondary in the spring, but the fall will tell the tale of how well the Bruins will defend the skies.