UCLA Football: 5 returners who should have a breakout fall camp

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Caleb Wilson
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Caleb Wilson /
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With UCLA football fall camp starting, Go Joe Bruin looks at five returning players that should have a breakout preseason under the tutelage of the new coaching staff.

The UCLA football team has several players that will make an impact during the 2018 season and it will be their hard work during fall camp which will help them make an impact.

RELATED: UCLA Football 2018 Fall Camp – 5 Things To Look For

There will be several players that will show their worth in the preseason, but GJB specifically highlights five players which should have a fantastic fall camp and in turn, an amazing 2018 season.

Here are the players we are expecting to have a great August:

1. Caleb Wilson, TE

With Wilson back at full strength, he should be the go-to receiver for the Bruins. After last year’s performance where he garnered the attention of many football pundits from around the nation and was dubbed the best tight end in the country by Pro Football Focus (in only five games, mind you), Wilson should do even more damage this year. During fall camp he should continue to develop and play a specific role in Chip Kelly’s offense. Whether he is a short yardage receiver, run/pass blocker or a decoy, Wilson will be a huge weapon for the Bruins.

2. Jaelan Phillips, EDGE

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Like Wilson, Phillips was injured for spring and did not participate in a single practice. Well, now both are healthy and raring to go. Unfortunately, Philips was hit with the injury bug in 2017 and only played in seven games in his true freshman season. His offseason injury (via scooter accident) continued to keep him out, but it will not stop him from participating in fall camp. Though he will build off of his talent and stats (21 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 breakups), he should be excited to finally be back on the field, fueling his fire to prove that he will be the EDGE rusher the aggressive Bruin defense needs.

3. Darnay Holmes, CB

There is a reason Holmes was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list, which honors the most versatile player in the nation. Not only is he a stellar defender, but he was impressive as a kick returner. The kid simply has a lot of talent and that will continue to grow and should be amplified with the new defensive coaches leading him. Holmes was by far the most aggressive player on the team last year, which fits perfectly into DC Jerry Azzinaro’s plans, so expect him to get a lot of praise in fall camp.

4. Theo Howard, WR

With Jordan Lasley and Darren Andrews gone, Howard is going to be the most experienced true receiver on the team. Bruins fans have known that he has talent, but now it is finally time for him to shine brightly amongst the top receivers in the nation. Howard had a strong spring, especially going up against Darnay Holmes day in and day out, and that will continue starting today as fall camp begins.

5. Keisean Lucier-South

The previous four players listed seem automatic to be standouts during fall camp, but KLS is a player that has sort of flown under the radar. Though he was one of the better defenders last season, he was spread thin with his duties. It also did not help that UCLA’s defense was constantly reminded that they were atrocious. Through the D will not become a Top 10 squad overnight (or even in one season), the KLS is going to help them get there.

Next. UCLA Football: 10 bold predictions for the 2018 season. dark

In spring, Lucier-South took some time to adjust to his move from DE to OLB, but once he got the hang of it, he proved to be a solid zone defender. He was able to read the offense quickly and did a good job pursuing ball carriers on his side of the field. As they say on the ‘What’s Bruin Show’ podcast, “KLS is going to rock you!”