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UCLA FOOTBALL

UCLA adds depth to football roster with a couple transfers

Bruins pick up cornerback Jamie Graham and guard Albert Cid, transfers who were admitted to the school and are immediately eligible to play.

August 09, 2011|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA offensive linemen go through drills during a team practice session on Monday.
UCLA offensive linemen go through drills during a team practice session… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

UCLA isn't accustomed to getting players during training camp. Watching them limp off to the training room is the usual drill.

But Tuesday the Bruins received a boost at two positions where depth is a question, picking up cornerback Jamie Graham and guard Albert Cid.

Graham, who played three seasons at Vanderbilt, was accepted into UCLA's graduate school. Cid, a transfer from Citrus College, was admitted into the school as an undergraduate. Both are immediately eligible.

Cid, 6 feet 2 and 330 pounds, has three years of eligibility left and could move into the starting lineup during the season.

"He has the athletic skills, he runs well, he's strong," offensive line coach Bob Palcic said. "But there is a large learning curve to work through."

The Bruins have been successful with community college linemen recently. Eddie Williams and Ryan Taylor were starters the last two seasons.

Palcic said Cid was "comparable to Eddie and Ryan coming out of junior college." Cid said he needed to drop 15 pounds and "get in game shape."

"It will take two or three weeks to get ready, then I'll know the playbook and can challenge for a starting position," Cid said.

The Bruins' offensive line problems are rooted in the 2009 recruiting class. Tackle Xavier Su'a Filo left for a Mormon mission. Tackle Nick Abel took a medical retirement. Guard Stanley Hasiak flunked out.

The only lineman from the 2009 class currently with the team is Greg Capella, who seems ticketed for the starting right guard spot.

"We had some holes to fill and had to go the JC way to do that," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. The preference "would be to build with high school players, but you can never pass on a quality junior college player."

Graham was a versatile player at Vanderbilt.

"He played wideout, running back, quarterback in the wildcat, cornerback," defensive coordinator Joe Tresey said. "It was quite a highlight tape. When you can get a guy who played that much in the Southeastern Conference, you're very happy."

Graham has one year of eligibility left. He wanted to keep playing while attending graduate school. He said "what better place than the Pacific 12 Conference?"

Keeping up with Jones

Defensive end Datone Jones sat out last season because of a broken foot. Tuesday, the Bruins saw what they missed by not having him.

Jones dominated in 11-on-11 drills. On one play, he got to quarterback Kevin Prince nearly as quickly as the snap, though he was not allowed to make contact.

"If that had been a game, it would have been a sack, a fumble and one of my teammates would have been running with the ball … or I would have been," Jones said.

Quick hits

Freshman defensive lineman Brandon Tuliaupupu left practice because of an injured arch in his foot. He is expected to be out a "couple days," Neuheisel said.

chris.foster@latimes.com

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