UCLA Football Fall Camp Practice Report: August 24

Another notable position change and a shrinking injured group stood out the most at the Bruins’ latest fall camp session.

The Bruins aren’t quite done with fall camp just yet, but they remain in good shape with the season 10 days out.

UCLA football held what was initially slated to be its final practice of fall camp Wednesday morning. Coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday, however, that the team would be back on the field Friday and Saturday and that the true game week practices wouldn’t start until Monday.

There won’t be any fanfare over the weekend either, since Kelly said he won’t be running a full scrimmage day like other teams across the country do when they wrap up fall camp.

So with the Bruins right back in the thick of things, they ran a normal practice with a roster that had somewhere around 99% availability. The team kicked things off with some new special teams drills, forgoing the usual punt and kickoff work for general tackling and blocking training.

Linebacker Ale Kaho remained out, but he was the only scholarship player hanging around the weight room in the injured area. Fordham transfer Sean Holland – who played quarterback with the Rams but has been lining up at receiver in Westwood – was out as well, but he is presumably not on scholarship and was not expected to have a major role early this season.

Kain Medrano was not with the inside linebackers or the injured cohort, so his status remains up in the air. Offensive lineman Liam Douglass and edge rusher Joquarri Price fell into the same category, but their injuries are expected to be much longer term than Medrano’s.

Safety Kamari Ramsey and running back Deshun Murrell have been in and out of the injured group over the past few practices, and they both began Wednesday on the workout bikes. When the team split up for individuals, though, they both joined their respective positions’ drills as full participants.

Joining Murrell with the running backs was Colson Yankoff, a former Washington transfer quarterback who made the move to receiver in 2020. Yankoff has primarily played special teams since making his last position change, but the 6-foot-4 former four-star recruit could theoretically manage to get some reps out of the backfield.

UCLA lost Brittain Brown in the offseason, so Murrell, veteran Keegan Jones, freshman TJ Harden and receiver Kazmeir Allen were expected to make up for his lost touches. None have produced much in an actual game thus far in their careers – outside of Allen, who will likely be leaned on more as a receiver this year – so maybe Kelly and running backs coach DeShaun Foster are looking to introduce a new face into the mix.

As for Yankoff’s now-former position group, walk-ons Ashton Authement and Devanti Dillard made some solid catches in the end zone. Freshman Braden Pegan, who was known for his speed coming out of high school, looks like he has really good size, and his frame isn’t as slight as most young wideouts of his stature.

UCLA will have five more practices open to the media between Friday and their season opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 3.

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