Throughout the first three weeks of fall practice, countless things have changed for the UCLA football team since the 2009 season. Gone to the NFL are the talents of defensive tackle Brian Price and cornerback Alterraun Verner.
Freshman safety Dietrich Riley and freshman running back Malcolm
Jones now stroll down Bruin Walk.
One thing, however, has remained constant: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kevin Prince has remained on the sideline. The oft-injured quarterback sustained a torn oblique on Aug. 10, the second day of practice, and has seen limited action since.
Prince threw some with the training staff on the sidelines before attempting to throw the ball in live drills on Tuesday. His reps were then severely cut down over the next two days, and he was throwing only quick out routes and screen passes. Prince did not see any time in the Bruins’ private scrimmage at the Rose Bowl on Friday.
Coach Rick Neuheisel was hounded after each practice during fall camp for an update on Prince and usually fired back with a response that preached patience and urged sophomore Richard Brehaut to be prepared to step in.
“I don’t know what to tell you other than, I don’t have any more information,” Neuheisel said following practice Aug. 18. “Eventually, we’ve got to get him out here. I hope we can soon.
“Muscles are funny things, you know, it’s just the way it is.”
While it’s still unclear whether or not Prince will take the first snap on Saturday when the Bruins head to Manhattan, Kan., his teammates are prepared to play with anyone, most likely Brehaut.
“You never know what can happen in a season and we saw that last year,” said junior wide receiver Taylor Embree. “We went through three different quarterbacks last year. But at every position, some people might not be practicing and the next guy has to step up and show what he can do.”
Brehaut performed admirably in the fall scrimmage on Aug. 21, going 11 for 16 for 186 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw an interception and still looked to be indecisive at times, a criticism that plagued him in his limited game action last season.
“(I saw) a lot of good things, but still things that are going to cost us and keep us from having the success that he’s starting to earn,” Neuheisel said after the scrimmage. “He’s got to work harder to eliminate the little things: keeping track of down and distance, keeping track of protection. But certainly, he’s come a long way in terms of understanding the offense and throwing the ball down the field.”
Neuheisel still seems to be searching for answers from Brehaut as Prince’s status remains questionable.
“Richard has been very coachable, all along,” Neuheisel said. “The question is, how quickly does the material sink in where you see it exhibited in live action? Certainly we’re seeing some maturation there.”