The UCLA football team moved to Cal State San Bernardino for its preseason training camp on Friday and moved into their new dorms, coaches included.
“We’re dormed up with some of the coaches and the players. I feel (the coaches) should have been somewhere else. Not with us young cats ““ they’re too old. They can’t keep up. They’ll be telling us to go to bed and we’re like, “˜It’s just getting started,’” rising redshirt junior wide receiver Ricky Marvray said with a laugh.
Marvray lauded the school for its dorms and his living situation and coach Jim Mora couldn’t help but agree effusively about the facilities.
“We’re lucky to be in this environment. I think it’s going to be outstanding for our football team. This campus is perfect for what we’re trying to accomplish,” Mora said. “The setting is great and the people here at Cal State University San Bernardino “¦ have been unbelievably accommodating to us.”
“We have a lot of field space, the fields are in good shape, the dorms are beautiful … Â it’s just a first class facility for us to have a chance to come out and work out,” Mora said.
Not only are the fields pristine, but also large enough to fit a full 100 yard field, something that is unseen at Spaulding Field on the UCLA campus, the team’s usual practice facility.
Rising junior outside linebacker Anthony Barr has embraced the change, taking advantage ofÂ the opportunity to create stronger bonds with his teammates.
“We usually see each other everyday at UCLA,” Barr said. “But here we see each other 24/7. We’re with each other all day for 13 days and I think it’s going to be great.”
However, accompanying the new fields and camaraderie was the Inland Empire heat. While it didn’t cause too many issues today other than a couple of players cramping up, the temperature is expected to rise to triple digits throughout camp.
Mora said necessary precautions will be in place.
“I was in the NFL when Korey Stringer passed way, so the NFL made as big a push as you would imagine to educate staffs on the dangers of practicing in this type of heat. Our staff is very educated on that,” Mora said, referencing the offensive lineman who died of a heat stroke during an NFL training camp in 2001.
Rising freshman linebacker Jeremy Castro was nowhere to be seen as he has yet to be declared eligible by the NCAA clearinghouse.
UCLA has no comment on the issue yet and is unaware of the reasons why he is unable to join the team.
Along with Castro, 12 other players were absent from practice but their absences were due to injuries.
One noticeable absence due to injury was highly-touted rising freshman defensive end Ellis McCarthy, who underwent knee surgery before camp. Mora said that McCarthy has been progressing very well.
Additionally, rising redshirt freshman offensive lineman Torian White did not participate due to chest pains. White will undergo tests and will be unable to practice until cleared, leaving an already depleted offensive line even thinner. Rising redshirt junior wide receiver Shaquelle Evans had to leave practice early as well due to hyperventilation.
The most serious injury news was regarding rising redshirt sophomore Y-receiver John Young, who tore his patellar tendon, which will sideline him for the entire upcoming season.