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Sheldon Price to face tougher test against Stanford

The Bruins cornerback will make his second start on Saturday.

October 02, 2009|Chris Foster

There will be a Price check in Palo Alto on Saturday.

Freshman Sheldon Price, just months removed from La Puente Bishop Amat High, will make his second start at cornerback when the Bruins play at Stanford. His first start came with training wheels, against a Kansas State team that showed all the toughness of wheat in a thrasher in a 23-9 UCLA victory.

Stanford uses a bump-and-grind attack, with Toby Gerhart, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound running back, handing out the bumps and doing the grinding.

Price, a lean 6-2, 163, will be waiting just around one corner.

"I'm a little dude, so it's going be a tough test," Price said. "I have been working on my tackling all year and it's gotten better and better. This is going to be like my final exam."

Price made five tackles against Kansas State, but there was more mild than wild in the Wildcats' offense.

"We'll know on Saturday," cornerbacks coach Carnell Lake said of Price's progress as a tackler. "I'm confident in him. He had a lot of tackles against Kansas State. They ran a lot of hitches in front of him and he made the tackles. That's what I wanted to see."

Said Price: "I'm sure people look at me and underestimate my toughness. I look kind of like a stick out there. But I make sure they hit the ground. I don't tackle pretty; as long they hit the ground, that's all that matters."

Price will also be dealing with a Stanford passing game that will have him earmarked as a better option than going against Alterraun Verner, the Bruins' other corner.

"I feel I'm getting better at reading plays off the line of scrimmage, recognizing formations and what they're going to run out of those formations," Price said. "My ability to make plays has gotten better. I'm soaking up everything Vern tells me. The more experience you gain on the field, the better you're going to get."

Numbers game

UCLA will travel with 64 players, the maximum under Pacific 10 Conference rules.

"That stinks; that absolutely stinks," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "It's the rule, but it's not a good rule. I understand economics and all that stuff, and we're all team players, but you get kids to come to your school and they should be able to go on trips."

The limit will cause the Bruins to massage their special teams some, Neuheisel said, adding, "We'll be leaving some good football players behind."

Quick hits

Cornerback Aaron Hester (broken fibula) will undergo a final X-ray on Monday and is expected to be cleared to begin running. Previous X-rays have shown the bone to be healed. . . . Guard Nick Ekbatani (sprained knee) was given extensive time as part of the first-team offensive line during Thursday's practice.


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