Campus Scoop with Mike Yam at UCLA
For the final leg of the Football Training Camp tour, the crew visited Los Angeles, California. Yogi Roth and Glenn Parker joined Mike Yam at UCLA, where they gained insight on the quarterback situation and spoke to two crucial parts of the Bruin offense. After the show wrapped, Yam weighed in:
What’s the status of the quarterback battle?
“Heading into the Training Camp show in Westwood, I think everyone was focused in on one topic: who was going to replace Brett Hundley. It’s a two-man race right now. We know Jerry Neuheisel and Josh Rosen are the two guys who are competing for that spot. I saw Josh take a lot of reps with the 1s today, and they did a lot of situational football; we didn’t get to see Jerry as much. But talking with Coach Mora, it is abundantly clear that he has a very tough decision. Most of this training camp, they have split reps with 1s, and Mora told us that he’s looking for some sort of separation.”
“I think the biggest thing we got from the Training Camp show and our time here in regards to the quarterback situation is we’re not going to see two quarterbacks. Jim Mora was pretty emphatic when he said that that’s not what he wants to do. That’s not fair to the guys who are competing and they shouldn’t be constantly looking over their shoulders. That situation, oddly enough, is something we saw across town a couple seasons ago when Lane Kiffin was the head coach at USC and Cody Kessler was not necessarily the starting quarterback. He was shuffled in and out. From a strategic standpoint, it does make sense, but it will be interesting to see how it’s going to play out when it comes to Week 1 against Virginia.”
Did you find any of the players particularly interesting?
“We had an opportunity to talk to Jordan Payton, the wide receiver. This is a team that’s pretty deep at the wide receiver spot, but they don’t necessarily get a lot of love. I think people will focus in on Arizona’s and Washington State’s wide receiver corps, but there are some playmakers right now on offense, and Payton is one of the leaders on that side of the football. Away from football, I think it’s fascinating that at the age of 16, he launched his own clothing line called ‘Long Awaited’. He was telling me about it off air, and it seems like it has been pretty successful. He says he wants to teach his teammates how to start a business. He said a lot of his teammates want to do it, but have no clue about finances or what it takes to get it going. Some of his teammates don’t even have bank accounts, so it’s something that he wants to help some of his guys with.”
Did you encounter any surprises at UCLA?
“Spending time at UCLA and spending three years with Rick Neuheisel, it was only fitting in that I had a conversation with him on my way to practice today. We talk pretty frequently, and I don’t even think he realized that we were at UCLA, so it was sort of an interesting coincidence. I asked him if he had a message for Jerry, and he said, “Just make sure he keeps calling home a little bit more. I don’t get to talk to him nearly enough.” It’s nice to know that things haven’t changed with Rick—he’s always thinking about his boys.”
For a review of the other stops on the tour before Yam makes his final visit, go to the Pac-12 Networks Insider Blog.