News, Notes & Quotes - April 10

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday April 10, 2017


- UCLA will no longer leave campus for fall camp.

During Mora’s first five years, UCLA spent one or two weeks in San Bernardino. But with a new practice facility coming, there’s more reason to stay, and Mora said the off-campus work had run its course. A handful of teams still spend time off-campus.

“We’d been there five years, and I would say that in our estimation that the effect that it had kind of wore off,” he said. "We weren’t getting the benefit, we weren’t getting the returns that we had before.”

Mora added, “We will still create a training camp-like atmosphere. It won’t be like our guys are getting in their cars and walking down to In-N-Out or something like that. They will be in a contained environment, but I think it will be really great for team chemistry and being able to concentrate for those two weeks.”

- With two new coordinators and relinquishing play-calling, Hugh Freeze spent this spring differently.

There will be a lot of changes on the field this year, with a self-imposed bowl ban at the end of it, and the ongoing investigation off the field.

“It’s allowed me to really dive into the lives of our players better,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed that this spring, really getting to meet with them 1-on-1 and having great conversations. I’m not a great listener, and that’s something I’ve got to work on and I’ve made an attempt to really do that and listen to the players and try to dive into their lives and what’s going on with them.

“Having those two guys (OC Phil Longo and DC Wes McGriff) has been nice. The challenge is I have to learn all of the new terminology so that I can be involved. That’s been a challenge because I’ve used my terminology since high school, but we needed it. It was time for us to have a change in signals and terminology, so that has been good for me too.”

- Jimbo Fisher says opening with Alabama immediately keeps players’ attention, but that comes in summer, not quite spring.

“It gets your attention. Sometimes, guys may think, ‘I hate training. I hate summer. I hate this.’ OK. You’d better know what’s coming off the bat,” Fisher said.” Like last year, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State. When you have those big opening games — we’ve had them here — Pitt in Jameis’ first game, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss last year preseason top 10. It gets attention. ‘I don’t need to take a day off in the summer and not give my best.’ It makes you dot your I’s and cross your T’s.

“… Not yet, we don’t want to feel it yet. We’ll get ready to go and handle that at the right time.”

- Have you ever seen a fake flea flicker? Purdue ran one in the spring game.

The Purdue offense will look different under Jeff Brohm, and that’s an understatement.

- Gus Malzahn says the QB battle will continue into fall, despite Jarrett Stidham’s strong spring performance.

The Baylor transfer went 16-for-20 for 267 yards and led five scores in six drives. But last year’s starter, Sean White, was held out for precautionary reasons, and Malzahn says the battle is ongoing. If he likes both of them, it’s not a bad thing.

"Our teams knows," Malzahn said. "I think it's a good thing. When your players play good, I think it's a good thing. It ain't a bad thing."

- New San Jose State running backs coach Alonzo Carter was once a backup dancer for MC Hammer.

At the end of practice, head coach Brent Brennan surprised Carter by having the DJ play “Can’t Touch This,” and the result was hilarious:

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.