WR Devin Lucien
With spring practice in full swing, some question marks persist when speaking about the UCLA Bruins football team.
Pressing need numero uno lies in regards to filling the spot of the departed Johnathan Franklin. In reality, no one currently on the roster will come close to replicating the season Franklin had a year ago. However, it's imperative that a solid option (or options) can come to the forefront and be a stabilizer at the position.
Additionally, more explosiveness is needed from the receiver corps. The majority of the personnel are now sophomores and with experience should come an improvement in production.
UCLA lost its entire starting secondary from a year ago. With numbers and depth extremely shallow, it provides an opportunity for the current members of the team to stand out. The Bruins have four very talented prospects entering in the summer that could make noise.
Lastly, a fourth starter is needed to round out the ultra-talented linebacker unit. That starter could be an incoming freshman or it very well could be a member participating currently in spring ball.
Here are five Bruins to watch during spring practice.
Fast forward to the present, and Adams looks primed to perhaps snag a starting spot at cornerback.
Adams has been always known as a feisty competitor. What he lacks in height he more than makes up for in intelligence, cover ability and physicality.
Finally healthy, the 5'8" corner has performed extremely well thus far in the spring. With numbers on the roster extremely low, Adams is more than in the running for play time this upcoming year.
Incoming freshmen Priest Willis and Johnny Johnson also will figure into the mix as well. Adams does have a leg up on both, due to the fact that Johnson and Willis won't enter school until June.
A fantastic athlete, Devin Fuller will be employed in a myriad of ways this spring by offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.
Initially entering college as a quarterback, Fuller was switched to wide receiver last year in an effort to get his athleticism out on the field. Although he has minimal experience at the position, he ultimately became UCLA's starting slot receiver by season's end.
During this spring practice, the team has begun to install a package designed specifically for Fuller to get the ball in his hands in as many ways as possible.
It won't be a shock to see the smooth athlete lined up as a quarterback in this package. He'll have the option of running the ball in the Wildcat formation, and he could also throw the ball out of the shotgun as well.
There's a litany of different things that the Bruins can do with Fuller on the field. With continued refinement of technique from the position, he could be a big X-factor this upcoming year.
Watch the video of Devin Lucien above, and it will tell you all you need to know about the receiver from Crespi High School.
Lucien is probably the most innately talented receiver on the team. He's got exceptional leaping ability and ball skills, and is a very good route-runner as well.
He was limited last year due to a collarbone injury. When on the field, however, he was the most explosive option the team had from the perimeter.
Confidence has never been a question mark with Lucien. This spring will provide him with a chance to cement a starting spot alongside Shaq Evans. Consistency is something to improve on, but all the tools are there for Lucien to potentially be an All Pac-12 receiver one day.
Based on reports, he's been the most impressive wide receiver during the spring.
Kenny Orjioke is an interesting athlete.
At 6'4" 230 pounds, the sophomore won't turn 18 years of age until June. The outside linebacker is considered one of the more athletic members on the team. He initially was brought in to play at safety before moving to outside 'backer. There was even a thought that he could be moved to the offensive side of the ball as a tight end.
As a true freshman, he contributed mostly as a special teams player. With Damien Holmes graduating, the spot opposite Anthony Barr at outside 'backer is wide open.
Aaron Wallace is thought to be Orjioke's biggest competition for the spot. Like Orjioke, Wallace is a physical specimen with good athleticism.
For Orjioke, he's got to continue to get more well versed at the position. He's got great potential to one day be a major player off the edge for the Bruins. Even if he doesn't start, he should see some playing time this year.
Johnathan Franklin isn't walking through that door anytime soon, UCLA.
With that in mind, it's imperative that the Bruins find a solid option to take over at the spot. In no way is anyone expecting the eventual starter to replicate what Franklin did last season. However, a solid option is needed in order to take pressure off Brett Hundley.
Paul Perkins might be the best option as a true every-down back on the roster. He runs with good pad level and has flashes good quickness in practice.
Of course, the redshirt freshman has yet to participate in a college game. Jordon James is battling for the starting spot, and Malcolm Jones has rejoined the team in an effort to live up to the lofty hype he brought from high school.
Steven Manfro figures to be in the mix, and Damien Thigpen will be a viable option once he fully recovers from a torn ACL.
Perkins has a chance this period to show the coaches what he can do. With Thigpen and Manfro out due to injury, he's also provided the opportunity to make a mark and conceivably lock down play time next season.