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Tevaga returns, minus attitude

November 19, 2008|David Wharton | Wharton is a Times staff writer.

UCLA offensive lineman Sonny Tevaga returned to practice Tuesday insisting that he has an improved attitude about football.

Coach Rick Neuheisel left Tevaga home when the Bruins traveled to Washington last weekend, unhappy with his level of commitment. The sophomore said he was in a rut.

"Just walking around slumped, you know what I mean?" Tevaga said. "Just having a bad attitude."

Tevaga started the first two games of the season at right guard and played much of the Oregon State game as a replacement for Nick Ekbatani. He said that UCLA's losing record affected him.

Apparently, watching the team win on television in his apartment -- "It was a very sad weekend," he said -- served as a remedy. On Tuesday, he persuaded Neuheisel that he still wanted to play.

Asked if he saw himself at UCLA long-term, Tevaga replied: "I'm a Bruin. This is where I wanted to go since I was little."

The immediate future is less certain in that coaches have not decided whether Tevaga will accompany the team to Arizona State on Nov. 28. "I'm going to watch his performance in all facets of the program," Neuheisel said.

Unlucky break

A team doctor delivered more bad news to quarterback Ben Olson: A CT scan of his foot revealed that the bone he broke this summer has not fully healed.

"They can still see a little bit of a crack on the bottom," a downcast Olson said. "It's healing . . . but it's not all the way healed."

In recent weeks, Olson had tried to increase his practice time, hoping to return to action before the season's end. But the foot continued to hurt, prompting this latest examination.

It was yet another setback for the injury-plagued senior.

"It's disappointing . . . I don't really know how else to say it," he said. "I feel like I've been saying that my whole career here."

Waiting game

Several Bruins were held out of practice. Defensive tackle Brian Price has a sore hamstring and linemate Chase Moline had an epidural for his back. Linebacker Sean Westgate has a hip flexor injury.


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