UCLA football: Bruins pick up two transfers
First, Ohio State transfer Willie Mobley walked into practice on Tuesday. Later in the day, former Colorado receiver Josh Smith showed up.
Mobley is days away from officially transferring to UCLA.
“I’m still filling out paperwork and I need to take a physical,” said Mobley, who will have three years of eligibility remaining after this season. “It’s going to take a couple more days.”
Smith, on the other hand, has signed his enrollment papers and is set to begin classes. He will have two seasons of eligibility after sitting out this season.
Smith had 1,987 all-purpose yards for Colorado in 2008. He set school records with 1,568 return yards and had one touchdown return. He also had 29 receptions for 387 yards.
Mobley and Smith bring UCLA to the NCAA’s limit of 85 scholarships.
Other practice notes:
-- UCLA coaches will go into Saturday’s game against San Diego State somewhat blind. The Aztecs, under first-year coach Brady Hoke, have a new coaching staff.
Hoke, who coached at Ball State last season, has Alan Borges as offensive coordinator and Rocky Long as defensive coordinator. Bruins coaches have been studying tape from their past teams, including UCLA, where Borges and Long coached in the 1990s.
“It’s all been under the cloak of darkness,” Coach Rick Neuheisel said. “All we have is New Mexico tape and Auburn tape. We’ve gone back in the archives to see what they did at UCLA. We have nice bios on them, but that’s about it.”
Still, the Bruins are facing a San Diego State team that was 2-10 in 2008.
-- Reserve punter Danny Rees, who holds for field goals and extra punts, injured his shoulder trying to make a tackle following a blocked field goal in practice Tuesday. He left practice to have X-rays, which he said were negative.
As a precaution, backup quarterback Kevin Craft and punter Jeff Locke took time out of practice to work taking long snaps and holding for kicks.
-- Defensive tackle Jess Ward (sprained right) went through a full practice, including contact drills, and will play Saturday, Neuheisel said.
-- Neuheisel said that a decision will be made Wednesday whether to play the season opener against San Diego State at the Rose Bowl as scheduled. There are concerns that the fires will require the game to be postponed.
UCLA and San Diego State officials will defer the decision to Pasadena and firefighter officials. Neuheisel said the game will not be moved to another stadium. The last UCLA game to be postponed was 2001, following the World Trade Center attacks. The Bruins and Arizona State moved the game to Dec. 4 that season.
-- Former UCLA coaches Terry Donahue and Pepper Rodgers were at practice Tuesday.
Rodgers, who was head coach from 1971 to 1973, said he was touring all his former coaching stops. He will head for Kansas next week and plans to attend the Clemson-Georgia Tech game on Sept. 10.
-- Chris Foster