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UCLA FYI

Leisure time is over for Kevin Prince

New quarterback had a break, but now it's back to work.

August 12, 2009|Chris Foster

Kevin Prince, UCLA's starting quarterback, spent the week before training camp preparing for the chore ahead of him . . . by playing golf and reading a book.

This wasn't taking his new job for granted. This was following orders.

"He worked hard, starting in the middle of January, through spring ball and the summer," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. "I told him to go away and read a book."

Leisure time is over, as Prince, who won the starting job in the spring, has been handed the keys to the offense. His goal now is to "pull away and establish myself, leave no doubt that I'm supposed to be out there. I have to show that I'm supposed to be the guy."

There is little doubt of that at this point -- Chow picks a quarterback and sticks with him. But the plan is to make life as easy as possible for Prince, a redshirt freshman who has not played in a game in nearly two years, which led to the "run the ball or die trying" philosophy.

"All he has to do is manage the game," Chow said. "I don't want him to think he has to make spectacular plays or feel like he has to win the game."

This remains a work in progress. Prince looked sharp Monday, the first day of training camp, but struggled with throws some Tuesday.

"Everybody goes from a place where they are trying to execute a play to where they are playing the game," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "When you are trying to make plays, you look a little robotic. When you're playing the game at full speed, the natural ability comes to the forefront."

Catching on

The eye catchers on the second day of camp were two pass catchers -- sophomore Taylor Embree and freshman Ricky Marvray.

Embree displayed sure hands in making 40 receptions last season. Marvray was displaying his skills for the first time against first-team players.

Marvray had a handful of quality receptions in non-contact drills Tuesday.

"I expected him to be a competitive guy, a guy who wants to get a bunch of reps," wide receivers coach Reggie Moore said. "Sometimes you have to pull him out of there, but that's a good thing. You want a guy who is willing to go out there and work."

Marvray showed that eagerness Tuesday, going over the middle for a couple of receptions.

"It's very simple, when the ball is in the air, that's the most important thing in the world," Marvray said. "I could care less who's around me. I actually love going across the middle. If you get smacked, get up and dust yourself off."

Odds and split ends

Linebacker Taniela Maka attended practice Tuesday. Maka committed to UCLA, but has yet to qualify academically, saying he needs 60 more points on his SAT. Maka said he will take the test again in September and expects to enroll this winter. . . . Freshman fullback Jayson Allmond was certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse and participated in practice Tuesday. . . . Tight end Joseph Fauria was also cleared to practice, but he will sit out this season after transferring from Notre Dame.

--

chris.foster@latimes.com

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