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Spring Football Roundup: May 10-14

May 16, 2021
Otito Ogbonnia (Photo: Jan Kim Lim)

Week 3 of UCLA spring football training began on May 10 on Spaulding Field as the Bruins work to prepare to open the 2021 season on August 28 against Hawai'i on Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl.

Assistant coach Ryan Gunderson met with the media midweek and spoke about some of the reasons he desired to come to UCLA. "I had been at Oregon State and played against [head coach Chip Kelly] a lot, so the offenses were something that you really wanted to learn … you kind of wanted to know the secret sauce. And my experience at San Jose State, with (former UCLA WR and SJSU head coach) Brent Brennan, and all the good things he had to say about Coach Kelly and about UCLA and the opportunity that was there was something I really wanted to pursue."

Dulcich/Martinez Availability | Coach Gunderson Availability | Manoa/Ogbonnia Availability

Coach Gunderson also addressed working with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson —"It has been great. Dorian's base of football knowledge is really, really good. I think Coach (Dana) Bible and Coach Kelly did an awesome job with him … he knows a lot … he is bright … he sees stuff, his vision is really good … he is maturing … he really wants to learn, he really wants to know the bad … he just does not want to be told what he is doing right … we have had an awesome experience so far."

Defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia, who had 16 tackles, two pass break ups and 1.5 sacks in 2020, talked about what he is working on most this spring — "For me, I am working on technique and tenacity. I think one of the biggest things we saw from Osa (Odighizuwa) was his tenacity … and then at the Senior Bowl, his technique. He kind of proved that what we are doing here is working and with a little bit of time and effort you can get there."

Head coach Chip Kelly had high praise for redshirt freshman linebacker Myles Jackson – "The one thing that has been so neat about Myles from the jump is his attitude and his mindset … from Day 1, he came in here there was a maturity to him. When he came here, he planned on playing as a true freshman and he played as a true freshman. It was never too big for Myles … That's why you see some kids blossom a little bit later … sophomore, junior year than as a freshman, but very rarely do you have a kid who is a freshman who seems like he has been there for the longest time … and I say that about Myles as a complement."

Greg Dulcich, who had 26 catches last season for five touchdowns and a 19.9 yards-per-catch average, discussed the role of the tight end position in Coach Kelly's offense. "We use tight ends in tons of roles, whether it is in line blocking or trying to stretch the field, and I think that makes us a special group," said Dulcich. "Coach (Derek) Sage does a really good job making sure we are full, complete tight ends. That is always something we try to be. We want to make some big plays in the run game for us and be vertical threats that a secondary has to worry about. I think, across the room, we have guys like that."

UCLA football spring training continues through May 27.