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Quarterback Darius Bell impresses during UCLA practices

Sophomore, a late transfer from City College of San Francisco, runs the first-team offense efficiently.

August 16, 2010|By Chris Foster

The guy on the move Monday was UCLA quarterback Darius Bell. He was out of the pocket, creating plays, and he was inching up the depth chart.

Bell, a sophomore who transferred from City College of San Francisco in July, worked with the first-team offense during the afternoon practice after creating offense in the morning session.

"Yesterday and this morning, he really stepped it up," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said.

Richard Brehaut, who had been running the first team with Kevin Prince injured, was with the second team in the afternoon.

Coach Rick Neuheisel said, "Norm wanted to give [Bell] a few more shots today."

Chow said that Brehaut and Bell were "about even."

Bell put some spark into the offense Monday morning, improvising and rolling out of the pocket to complete passes.

"When stuff breaks down, I can use my abilities, get out of the pocket and open up some passing lanes," said Bell, who is listed at 6 feet and 218 pounds. "Maybe I can provide a big-play opportunity, put some pressure on the defense."

Bell has been speed-reading to absorb the offense. He didn't commit to UCLA until late July and has been playing catch-up since.

Fortunately for Bell, he ran an offense similar to the Bruins' "Pistol" at San Francisco — "The terminology is different, that's all," he said — but he is still on the learning curve.

"Last week, I was over-thinking a lot," Bell said. "When a quarterback over-thinks, mistakes happen."

Bell's arm strength isn't on a par with Prince or Brehaut, but Chow said arm strength was "a little overrated. If you're on time and know where the ball is going to go, that's enough."

Prince update

Prince, who hasn't practice since Aug. 10, threw on the sidelines briefly during the afternoon session, though it was light tosses. He also worked on some short pass routes with receiver Jerry Johnson.

"It feels OK," Prince said. "I'm just trying to take it slow."

Prince said that he will probably run a few plays with the offense in Tuesday's practice, and that he would "probably throw a little. When I roll to the right and throw the pain isn't there."

Tight end concerns

The Bruins' tight end situation got a little better, and a little worse, Monday.

Cory Harkey said he only had a "minor concussion" and that he would probably "be back [Tuesday]."

Morrell Presley, an F-back, had been ticketed for some work at tight end, but suffered a concussion during Sunday's practice and will go through the concussion protocol. Tight end Joseph Fauria, out because of a groin injury, had a setback over the weekend.

"I got rolled on during a seven-on-seven drill the other day and had a small setback," Fauria said. "I told the coaches to let me go out there today, but they are looking out for my best interests."

The depth situation at tight end is such that Jayson Allmond was back at tight end Monday after having been moved to defensive tackle Sunday.

Quick kicks

Linebacker Aramide Olaniyan (ankle) and defensive lineman Wesley Flowers (back) returned to practice. … The Bruins will have a mini-scrimmage at the end of Tuesday's practice.

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