Forty-five minutes before stepping onto Spaulding Field for the first time, quarterback Richard Brehaut received an abrupt introduction to the world of college football.

The freshman, who graduated early to enroll at UCLA during spring quarter, got an earful from offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Yet Brehaut took it all in stride.

“Yeah, he got on me a little bit before,” Brehaut said. “It’s kind of like “˜Welcome to UCLA’ I guess.”

Brehaut and the rest of the UCLA football team opened spring practice Thursday at Spaulding Field, marking the official start of a season the Bruins hope will be an improvement from last year’s 4-8 record.

Coach Rick Neuheisel expressed the excitement he felt from the energy the players displayed on the field.

“I’m excited about the way things started,” Neuheisel said. “Our guys are eager, they’re energetic. We’re going to look at the tape and, with shorts, it’s difficult to know exactly who won and who lost today, but we’re going to look at the tape and see a whole bunch of mistakes. But when they come out here eager like that, that’s when you feel good about your team.”

One of the main points of interest surrounds the Bruins’ quarterback situation. As expected, Brehaut and redshirt freshman Kevin Prince received the majority of the snaps, with redshirt senior Kevin Craft behind them. Prince was the primary quarterback in the seven-on-seven and nine-on-nine drills near the end of practice.

Neuheisel said that while there were positives to take from Prince’s performance, there were also mistakes.

“There were some throws that he made today that were indicative of what we think he’s capable of,” Neuheisel said. “There were also some throws that were horrific. But that’s because he’s not organized, and so that’s the reason why you’ve got to give guys chances, especially the young players.”

Prince himself said there were areas for improvement, pointing to his footwork during the seven-on-seven drills. Yet, he added that he believed he performed well with regard to commanding the huddle and making the right decisions quickly.

“Some plays I messed up, but I feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Prince said. “But for the first day, it was OK.”

Neuheisel said that although he would love to have the quarterback situation settled by the end of spring practice, he did not want to force a rash decision.

“You’d love to, but you can’t force a square peg into a round hole,” he said.

CHRIS FORCIER PRACTICES AS WIDE RECEIVER: Redshirt sophomore Chris Forcier was present at practice Thursday as a wide receiver. After spending the past two seasons as quarterback, Forcier announced earlier this week he was exploring options to transfer to another school. He has yet to make a final decision regarding the possibility of a transfer and remains committed to the team through spring practice.

He declined to speak to reporters following practice.