August 11, 2009

First day of practice in the books

The first day of practice showed a faster team than the year before and the talk of the practice were the newcomers along the offensive front. Just by the addition of the JUCO players and the three freshmen, this looks like it could be the most improved part of the team.

Of course there isn't any real hitting going on out there so it is hard to gauge, but overall there appears to be an increase of team speed and overall quickness.

JUCO transfer, Eddie Williams was missing in action for UCLA media day earlier Monday, but he did show up to practice and was one of those newcomers along the offensive line that looked pretty good. If he plays in pads like he looks in shorts, he's going to help this UCLA football team this fall.

Recruits on hand for the practice were we're four-star wide receiver, Anthony Jefferson from Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral and defensive tackle Tre Hale from La Verne (Calif.) Damien.

Though there is no official word, yet, but Jayson Allmond is expected to get cleared through the clearing house and be at practice in a day or two. The word is he has a class under review.

The following is Coach Rick Neuheisel's interview with the press after the first practice of training camp.

Neuheisel: "I just want to welcome everyone back. It is exciting to have you all back here to Spaulding Field.

"It was a good first day. It's a little bit of a cost/benefit analysis when you split your roster up. You are never going to look as sharp, as you would probably like to, given that you are all excited about an upcoming season. You are never going to get the tempo that you would like to have, given that you have been chomping at the bit to be back, but you get the benefit of having everybody get reps and quality coaching and time to explain what's wrong, when you are dealing with as many young players and inexperienced players as we have, then it is important to me, it is worth the sacrifice of tempo, and having everybody out there with experience.

"I like it I hope we can stay with it for a few more days, if our health will allow us to, because I think everyone will have grown from it and we will really be camping in earnest on Friday.

"We got a lot of work done today and there will be a ton of great teaching tape. We will have a ton of great conversation in the meeting, both tonight and tomorrow morning and then we will get back after it tomorrow at 3:00 PM."

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