With UCLA football’s upcoming spring game and closing practice to the public this week, we look at the developments from the second part of spring practice.
If you haven’t seen the UCLA football team practice, you are now out of luck as the final two practices on Tuesday and Thursday will be closed as the Bruins prep for the Spring Game this Saturday.
So with that in mind, let us recap what has happened the last two weeks of practice…
UCLA Football’s Offense
After the first two weeks of winter quarter, we saw the offense take an evolutionary step. We saw UCLA start to implement elements of the triple-option, something many UCLA fans assumed was going to make its way into the playbook. It is a slow going process but one that could be the foundation of the run-based spread offense that Chip Kelly should implement.
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Both quarterbacks Devon Modster and Matt Lynch continue to make progress, but also have been battling it out with sophomore Austin Burton. Burton has been getting a lot of reps, but still seems to be the third option to run the offense.
Modster is still running with the ones as Lynch needed a little bit of time to get back up to speed since spring break. Last few days of practice, both have showed progress with running the offense, especially directing the option, but they also showed that they have a long way to go as UCLA’s defense continues to improve as well.
Last Saturday, during 7-on7s, the defense prevented the offense from scoring on three out of six drives with two defensive stops via pick six. I will get back to the rest of the defense in the moment.
The running backs continue to show progress but there’s a surprise as transfer walk-on Josh Kelly has been getting a lot of reps in with the 1s. He has been just as popular of a choice as Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi, both of which are going to be seniors heading into the fall. Still, the veteran RBs are not backing down as they have each had impressive moments throughout spring.
As for receivers, Theo Howard continues to be the standout receiver and is pretty much catching everything that is thrown his way, even with one hand. Christian Pabico looks to be a favorite as the second or third option at receiver. Pabico continues to show consistency and has been impressive with the receivers.
Another name to look out for is Demetric Felton who has slowly been rising as another go-to receiver. He has shown a lot of consistency getting into space, catching the ball and moving around the defense when the ball is in his possession. If I had to call it now, I think Howard, Pabico and Felton will be the starting WRs this fall.