Feature: UCLA Players Powering Through Fatigue

Aug. 15, 2007

By Sam Allen
Daily Bruin

August 15, 2007

Los Angeles, CA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- The UCLA football team lined up for what would be its hardest practice of camp Tuesday morning at Spaulding Field after five practices in the previous three days.

It was clear the Bruins were a little tired.

'Today was a hard day; everybody kind of hit the wall,' quarterback Ben Olson said.

The coaching staff certainly intended to challenge the team. The Bruins worked on third down, red-zone and goal-line situations, in addition to the four-minute offense and the nickel defense. It was a lot to cram into a single two-hour practice.

'We got a lot of work in today. It was probably our toughest practice of our whole camp,' coach Karl Dorrell said. 'I can tell their legs are getting a little bit tired and weary. But we'll keep pushing.'

The goal for the offense is to master all the five days of information that was installed last week. It could be quite a task, especially with the complex, NFL-style scheme used by offensive coordinator Jay Norvell.

But the Bruins weren't dejected after the morning practice and noon lift session, just fatigued.

'Part of the challenge of fall camp is being able to maintain composure and fight through when you're sore and tired,' Olson said.

The team is also focused on its Saturday scrimmage at Drake Stadium. It will be the first official scrimmage of the fall camp, and the Bruins have certainly put in their time to prepare.

'I just want to get my legs back and feel somewhat quick again before the scrimmage, so I can go out there and have some fun,' Olson said.

The scrimmage is scheduled for 11 a.m. and is open to the public.

NOTES: Redshirt sophomore Osaar Rasshan sat out the second half of practice, feeling some dizziness after taking a hit in a 7-on-7 drill. Rasshan, who recently converted to wide receiver from quarterback, has been one of the brightest spots of UCLA's fall camp.

'Osaar is doing a great job, he's young and he's still learning, but he's getting better and better,' Olson said.

After practice Dorrell noted the play of cornerback Courtney Viney. The 5-foot 8-inch freshman has been thrown at often in red-zone drills, but he has more than held his own.

'Viney might be a guy that could help us this year; he might be the only one (of the freshmen) at this point,' Dorrell said. 'It's a good young class though, it's just a lot of information for them to master in three weeks.'

Two freshmen, Brian Price and Raymond Carter, haven't had a chance to make an impression. Carter tore his ACL during the first week of practice, and Price still hasn't been cleared to play by the NCAA, which is reviewing his high school records.

Offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga returned to practice today after sitting out with a wrist injury. Fullback Michael Pitre is still out with a bruised knee, but he could return by the end of the week.

(C) 2007 Daily Bruin via CSTV U-WIRE

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