April 2, 2012
The Bruin football team begins spring practice on Tuesday April 3, taking to Spaulding Field for the first time under the direction of head coach Jim Mora. The team will practice on each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through the Spring Game which is set for Saturday, May 5, in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. The mid-week practices begin at 3:45 p.m. each day while the four Saturday practices will start at either 9:30 a.m. (Apr. 7, 14) or 1 p.m. (Apr. 21, 28). All workouts and the Spring Game are open to the public.
Fifty letterwinners return to action for the Bruins, 34 have starting experience under their belts and 16 started in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. UCLA also welcomes back 2009 starting left tackle Xavier Su'a-Filo, following the completion of his two-year church mission. Three members of the new coaching staff's highly regarded first recruiting class -- quarterback T.J. Millweard, defensive back Marcus Rios, and junior college transfer offensive lineman Alexandru Ceachir will join the Bruins for Spring Ball. In addition, North Carolina transfer defensive lineman Brandon Willis is ready for action.
The Bruins welcome back seven players who started the bulk of the games at their defensive positions in 2011: DL Datone Jones, DL Damien Holmes (now OLB), DL Cassius Marsh, LB Patrick Larimore, CB Aaron Hester, CB Sheldon Price, S Tevin McDonald. The top seven tacklers on the 2011 defense return, as do five of the top six tackles for loss leaders and four of the top five ranking players with interceptions.
In terms of overall starting experience, the UCLA defense returns four linemen, Datone Jones 29/14 (career/2011 starts), Cassius Marsh 12/8, Owamagbe Odighizuwa 7/1, Donovan Carter 1/1; five linebackers, Patrick Larimore 20/13, Damien Holmes (20/14), Jordan Zumwalt 8/4, Keenan Graham (7/1), Eric Kendricks (3/3); and eight defensive backs, Aaron Hester (24/12), Sheldon Price (32/12), Andrew Abbott (13/7), Tevin McDonald (11/11), Dietrich Riley (5/5), Dalton Hilliard (5/5-moving to offense), Alex Mascarenas (2/2), Stan McKay (2/2).
The offense also returns seven players who started the majority of games at their positions in 2011: OL Jeff Baca, OL Greg Capella, OL Alberto Cid, TE Joseph Fauria, RB Johnathan Franklin, QB Kevin Prince, WR Shaquelle Evans. Overall, UCLA returns its top two passers, its top three total offense leaders, two of its top four receptions leaders, along with its top rusher.
The unit welcomes back seven linemen with starting experience, Jeff Baca (33/12), Greg Capella (14/14), Xavier Su'a-Filo (13/0), Alberto Cid (6/6), Chris Ward (4/4), Wade Yandall (3/3) and Brett Downey (1/1); three receivers, Shaquelle Evans (6/6), Ricky Marvray (4/0) and Jerry Johnson (1/0); one tight end, Joseph Fauria (9/9); two running backs, Johnathan Franklin (32/14) and Jordon James (3/3); two quarterbacks, Kevin Prince (26/10) and Richard Brehaut (11/4).
On special teams, senior Jeff Locke, one of the nation's best punters, and senior long snapper Kevin McDermott return. Locke's career punting average of 44.58 ranks No. 2 in UCLA annals and his 44.34 mark in 2011 ranked 12th in the country.
The 2012 schedule starts for the second straight season in Houston, TX, this time with a date at Rice University. Nebraska, 9-4 in its first season in the Big Ten a year ago, comes to the Rose Bowl in game two. Houston, from Conference USA, follows the Cornhuskers into Pasadena.
Five of the nine conference games will be contested in the Rose Bowl where UCLA captured all four league skirmishes a year ago. The Pac-12 slate opens with a home contest against Oregon State, before road games at Colorado and at California. Utah makes its first trip to the Rose Bowl as a member of the Pac-12 conference in game seven. After a bye week, the Bruins road trip to Arizona State before returning home to square off with Arizona. The final travel game of the season is a November 10 date at Washington State. UCLA finishes the season with a pair of home games against USC and Stanford. For ticket information, call UCLA-win.
2012 UCLA SPRING FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Tues., Apr. 3 -- 3:45 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 5 -- 3:45 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 7 -- 9:30 a.m.
Tues., Apr. 10 -- 3:45 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 12 -- 3:45 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 14 -- 9:30 a.m.
Tues., Apr. 17 -- 3:45 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 19 -- 3:45 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 21 -- 1:00 p.m.
Tues., Apr. 24 -- 3:45 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 26 -- 3:45 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 28 - 1:00 p.m.
Tues., May 1 -- 3:45 p.m.
Thu., May 3 -- 3:45 p.m.
Sat., May 5 -- 5:00 p.m. Spring Game
All practices held at Spaulding Field; Spring Game is at Rose Bowl
Schedule is subject to change