It would be hard to find a player on UCLA's team who was less into individual achievements than running back Johnathan Franklin. Which is why when he starts talking about personal goals, it gets your attention.
Franklin is eyeing the top of UCLA's all-time rushing list. There sits Gaston Green, just 1,062 yards away.
"Oh, without a doubt," Franklin said when asked whether he was aware how close he was to Green. "I've been thinking about that since I got here. Hopefully, I can break it. I believe I can get there."
Green had 3,731 yards from 1984-87. Franklin is ninth on the all-time list with 2,669. He had 1,127 yards in 2010 and 976 last season.
"It would mean everything, especially with the great running backs that came through here," Franklin said. "Having the most yards out of all of them would really be a blessing."
Franklin looked in midseason form Sunday, breaking off three long runs, including a 40-yard touchdown sprint up the middle.
"He sticks his toe in the ground and gets vertical," first-year running backs coach Steve Broussard said.
What could keep Franklin from reaching the top of the heap are his teammates; the Bruins are deep in the backfield.
Damien Thigpen is among those jostling for a role. Sunday, he had a 60-yard touchdown run and turned two screen passes into big plays, one a six-yard touchdown.
The new offense, Thigpen said, "allows me to use my quickness. I'm pretty good in the open field."
Bruins fans might not remember. Thigpen suffered a broken collarbone as a sophomore in 2010. He tore his left hamstring last summer and sat out as a redshirt in 2011.
"I guess what doesn't kill you … " Thigpen said.
Thigpen, Malcolm Jones and Jordon James could all get playing time, as could incoming freshman Paul Perkins, Coach Jim Mora said.
Franklin "will still be the main guy," Mora said. But he added, "I think there are two, three, or even four guys, we can really feel good about."
The depth will help Franklin, Mora said.
"You would like him to have his legs the strongest in the fourth quarter," Mora said.
New lawn, new house?
With the new synthetic and natural turfs installed on Spaulding Field, athletic department officials have started on the next phase: a football facility.
A study is underway as a first step toward adding a football "house" to Spaulding Field. The study will be used to determine what type of facility can fit on the campus, given the small space available.
Athletic department officials have yet to set a price tag. Similar facilities at other universities have ranged from $40 million to $60 million.
A timetable has yet to be set, but Athletic Director Dan Guerrero could move quickly, as he did with getting the new turf installed this summer.
It would allow UCLA to keep pace with USC, which opened the McKay Center — budgeted at $70 million — this summer.
Freshman kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn made field goals from 20, 30, 40, 47 and 55 yards. … Defensive back Marcus Rios left practice with a quad injury. … As if the weather hasn't been harsh enough at Cal State San Bernardino — it was 109 degrees when practice began — there were thunderstorms just to the east and a tornado watch for neighboring Riverside County on Sunday.