UCLA Football: Week 1 Spring Practice Stock Report
Spring practice has officially begun for the UCLA Bruins.
Despite being only two practices in, significant developments have already taken place. A key member of the team last season has been officially dismissed. Two other expected contributors have also been temporarily removed from the squad.
However, not all is bad news for the Bruins. Various young players have flashed in the early going. The continued brilliance of Brett Hundley has also been on full display.
Here's a stock report from the first week of spring practice for the UCLA Bruins.
Stock Up: The New Guys
In Jim Mora Jr.'s opening press conference (shown above), he was effusive in his praise of both linebacker Zach Whitley and offensive tackle Poasi Moala.
Much of Moala's praise came in terms of his physical transformation. Moala is an extremely athletic prospect but somewhat lacked the bulk and overall size needed to play right away.
Mora mentioned how Moala improved his body immensely in the winter conditioning program. As a result, Moala is listed as the starting right tackle.
Whitley, the early enrollee from Texas, has already flashed brilliance. Per Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News, Mora mentioned "I don't want to instant evaluate, but you can really see it with his knee bend, his lateral movement skills, his burst..."
Whitley has a viable shot at playing right away. His continued development will aid in possibly starting as a true freshmen.
Stock Down: Aaron Wallace
With Anthony Barr headed to the NFL, his vacant spot as a hybrid outside linebacker/rush end is up for grabs.
Deon Hollins, Kenny Orjioke and Aaron Wallace are all clamoring for the spot. Wallace's chances for the position took a considerable hit, however.
Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times reported Wallace and Aaron Porter are currently not enrolled in school for this upcoming quarter. Both will be out for the entire spring practice.
This is a massive blow to Wallace's prospective shot at winning the job. Orjioke and Hollins will get a significant advantage in the competition to become Barr's replacement.
Stock Up: UCLA Football
It's an exciting time to be a fan of the UCLA Bruins.
Mora's squad will likely be a top-10 team by the time the preseason rankings come out in August. Hundley will be a Heisman candidate and one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. That Myles Jack guy is pretty good, too.
In short, Mora has revolutionized the program considerably. UCLA is on the cusp of becoming not only a power in the Pac-12, but also a known commodity from a national standpoint.
This spring will only build upon the groundwork of the last two years.
Stock Down: Torian White
Starting tackle Torian White has been dismissed from the program. White was arrested last November on suspicion of sexual assault.
White's departure thins the depth even further on the offensive line. The former Bruin was expected to be UCLA's starting left tackle in 2014.
Without White, younger players will have to step up. Rising sophomore Caleb Benenoch will likely get the first crack at the starting gig. If this picture is any indication, Benenoch will be tough to beat out for the job.
White's dismissal is not ideal by any means. Fortunately for the Bruins, this specific circumstance occurred in the spring—as opposed to the fall right before the season commences.