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UCLA's Devin Fuller wants to be a man of many positions

Fuller, who came to UCLA as a quarterback, made an effective switch to receiver. But he is also lining up at quarterback and running back and is returning kicks. The more he is on the field, the bigger problem he creates for other teams, Coach Jim Mora says.

April 15, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA quarterback Devin Fuller makes a pass during practice last summer.
UCLA quarterback Devin Fuller makes a pass during practice last summer. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

UCLA Coach Jim Mora wants Devin Fuller to become a problem.

The plan is to have opposing defensive players doing pre-snap recon work, trying to locate Fuller before he reappears in the end zone with the ball. It may become quite a shell game.

"We hope he becomes that 'Where's Waldo' guy," Mora said. "Every time someone prepares for us, they go into a game wondering, 'Where's No. 7.' Is he at quarterback, running back, receiver, slot, is that him on the kickoff return?"

A lot will be expected from Fuller, a sophomore receiver.

On Monday, UCLA added pass plays to the package that has Fuller at quarterback. He also made a handful of quality receptions, one a diving catch at the goal line. He started the evening by returning kickoffs.

"I like that," Fuller said. "It gives me a chance to showcase my abilities. It's great that they noticed that I can play a lot of things."

They noticed.

Fuller came to UCLA as a quarterback, a spot that was quickly filled by Brett Hundley. Fuller, though, was too talented to keep on the bench.

He caught 20 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver, while also dabbling in kickoff returns. His role is being expanded.

"He has unusual quickness," Mora said. "He's the type of guy who can make plays all over the field. I think he could be a great safety."

Mora, though, is trying to be judicious, saying, "it's important that we don't overload him and waste his ability."

The temptation remains.

"He's smooth as an athlete," Mora said.

Fuller has no problem with the workload. He had already embraced the move to receiver.

"Brett's an amazing quarterback," Fuller said. "My playing time would have been limited, if I got any at all. During the off-season, I talked with Coach Mora and I talked to my parents. I made a decision that what the best thing for my future."


Linebacker Anthony Barr, who is on everyone's watch list, has been working at receiver, preparing for goal-line situations. "You want to take advantage of the ability of your athletes," Mora said. "We're going to try to find creative ways to use him." Barr played receiver his first two seasons at UCLA. … Offensive lineman Conor McDermott missed practice because of a concussion. Defensive end Cassius Marsh was limited Monday because of a tight hamstring.

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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