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UCLA FOOTBALL

UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes participates in contact drills

Freshman defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes, who had been sidelined because of an injury, was allowed in contact drills for the first time Friday.

August 16, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA freshman defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes likely will see extensive playing time for the Bruins this season.
UCLA freshman defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes likely will see extensive… (Don Liebig / Associated…)

You didn't have to ask whether UCLA freshman defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes was itching to play. All you had to do was listen … to Bruins Coach Jim Mora.

Vanderdoes, bothered all training camp by a sore back, was allowed in contact drills for the first time Friday morning. He quickly got an earful from Mora, who reprimanded him for using a bull rush with the Bruins not in full pads.

Mora explained "that's just Eddie's personality. If you're doing a medicine ball drill against a wall, every time Eddie throws it, he tries to knock the wall down."

Vanderdoes can be pardoned for the enthusiasm.

He had to endure a lengthy ordeal, trying to extract himself from a Notre Dame commitment after initially signing with the Fighting Irish in February. He was finally cleared to play for UCLA last month. Vanderdoes was then injured on the first day of camp.

Vanderdoes said the problem was with a disk. He missed seven days of practice waiting for the swelling to subside and undergoing treatment.

"It's almost a blessing in disguise," Vanderdoes said. "I can't take anything for granted football-wise."

The Bruins are hoping Vanderdoes can handle considerable playing time at defensive end this season. For now, they will proceed cautiously.

"We have to really work him back in, not at a snail's pace, but at a pace where we don't overload him too early," Mora said. "You can certainly see the level of ability."

Friday was a start.

"That was a good release to get out there and hit," Vanderdoes said.

Line shifts

UCLA tackle Simon Goines remained sidelined Friday, nursing a knee injury.

That left the Bruins temporarily rebooting their offensive line.

Xavier Su'a-Filo found himself back at left tackle, where he protected quarterback Brett Hundley's blind side. Su'a-Filo played left tackle for UCLA in 2009 before going on a two-year Mormon mission. Redshirt freshman Carl Hulick and first-year freshman Kenny Lacy shared the left guard spot with the first team.

"Playing tackle is a little different because you're in space," said Su'a-Filo, who started 13 games at tackle in 2009. "At tackle, you see more speed rushers. You have to be more aware of stunts."

The techniques, though, are mostly the same.

"The only difference is, as a tackle, you can push a guy outside," Su'a-Filo said.

Goines hyperextended his right knee Thursday.

Quick hits

Receiver Eldridge Massington did not suit up for the evening practice, spending it talking with trainers. Massington suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee a year ago. … Defensive end Kylie Fitts missed practice because of hydration issues. … Linebacker Aaron Porter wobbled off the field, escorted by a trainer, during practice.

chris.foster@latimes.com

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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