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UCLA football: Thigpen matures rapidly

August 26, 2009 | 11:07 am
Thigpen_240 Freshman tailback Damien Thigpen continues to get a share of reps with the first team, as Bruins coaches look for ways to take advantage of his speed.

It’s been a growing process for Thigpen, who said, “I feel OK when I get the ball in my hands. But I’m still learning the assignment.”

The shifty Thigpen did benefit from one piece of advice from Coach Rick Neuheisel.

“I told him he gets to make one cut at the line, then he has to run,” Neuheisel said. “If he gets into open field, he can make another cut.”

Neuheisel continues to lean toward playing Thigpen instead of having him use his redshirt year.

“I'm not going to say where it will be, but he needs to get some touches,” Neuheisel said.

Pre-practice notes:

Stanley Hasiak, the starter at left guard, and Chane Moline, the starting fullback, are both without helmets prior to practice starting.

Hasiak has what was called a "stinger" in his shoulder, which limited his play Tuesday.

"If you can't get your head in there, you can't get your aiming point," offensive line coach Bob Palcic said. "We have to wait until things settle down."

Moline was shaken up during offensive prep work against the scout team on Tuesday.

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Damien Thigpen. Photo credit: Don Liebig / UCLA Photography.

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