UCLA quarterbacks Brett Hundley, above, and Kevin Prince separated themselves… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
UCLA's first practice wasn't anything to phone home about Saturday.
That was fine for a handful of players, who didn't have phones to use anyway.
A few position coaches asked their players hand over the phones, isolating the team even more at Cal State San Bernardino. First-year Coach Jim Mora said he knew nothing of the phone ban, but it was another indication how much things appear to have changed since he took over.
"We're getting a sense of work ethic," senior wide receiver Jerry Johnson said. "We cannot be lazy. He wants us to take that laziness out of our spirit, out of our minds, out of our attitude.
"There have been lot guys here who were lackadaisical and just happy to be a Bruin, and not understanding the legacy behind being Bruins."
The message was made clear midway through practice Saturday, when the horn sounded to end one drill. Players trotted up the field. Mora immediately sent them back to sprint.
"Anybody here doesn't accept that, they are going to have to get weeded out," senior cornerback Aaron Hester said.
This is the third time that UCLA has left campus to hold a training camp. The Bruins went to Cal Lutheran in 2002 and Cal State Fullerton in 2003.
Bob Field, a senior associate athletic director at UCLA, said the cost was between "$5,000-10,000" more than if the Bruins held camp in Westwood. The benefits?
"We're a band of brothers," Hester said. "If you have a problem, you have no one here discuss it with but a teammate. The jury is us. The court is us. Everything is us."
The newness of the environment made the raggedness of practice more palatable.
Quarterbacks Brett Hundley and Kevin Prince were on target. The other quarterbacks were not. Freshman running back Paul Perkins had a few impressive runs … and fumbled twice.
Two minor scuffles broke near the end of practice.
"To me this is the perfect area to have training camp and create a mind-set to have success," Mora said. "We have all this space. It's hot out here. It looks like a place to go get ready to play a football season.
"They know what our standards are and what our level of intensity is. … I'm the one accountable for maintaining this standard."
Message received … though not via text message, as some players were without phones.
About the heat
Temperatures reached 92 Saturday, mild for the San Bernardino area in August.
Still, UCLA coaches were not taking chances. Wide receiver Shaquelle Evans was pulled out of practice after he hyperventilated.
"We have a cool-down tent and give them multiple water breaks," Mora said. "You got to learn to push through some heat, but you got to do it in a smart way."
Hundley, who played at Chandler (Ariz.) High, said, "back home we call this winter."
Temperatures are expected to top 100 starting Monday.
"Bring it on," Johnson said.
Castro held out
Jeremy Castro, a freshman linebacker from Vista Murrieta High, was not cleared by the NCAA, as the NCAA's clearinghouse was reviewing his transcripts. UCLA officials are hoping he will be cleared in time to participate in training camp.
Tackle Torian White was held out after experiencing chest pains. He will undergo medical tests. … Offensive linemen Colby Cyburt and Chris Ward sat out with sore backs. … Freshman wide receiver Kenny Walker left practice to have his pinkie finger X-rayed for a possible fracture. … The two practice field at San Bernardino are 100 yards long, a change from the 80-yard fields at UCLA.