UCLA has a deeper receiving corps than it has had in more than a decade, and the competition for spots should reach a frenzy this week.
Eric Yarber, who coaches the position, said he will rotate four outside and inside receivers during games. All Yarber will say is that “there are a lot of guys fighting for jobs.”
But there seem to be a few givens. Shaquelle Evans, Jordan Payton and Devin Lucien appear to be locks on the outside, as are Darius Bell and Devin Fuller on the inside.
That leaves three spots: one outside, two inside. Freshmen Jalen Ortiz and Darren Andrews have been impressive, and one could fill that outside spot. Freshman Thomas Duarte and Grayson Mazzone have received considerable work on the inside during training camp.
“I see some depth finally,” Mora said. “I see speed, size, athleticism. Guys like Shaq and Devin Lucien seem to make an eye-catching catch every day. It’s good to see some consistency out of the position. You see Jordan Payton always doing the right thing at the right time.”
Evans said that “route running” is the biggest improvement.
“Getting off the line against press coverage is a lot better this season,” Evans said. “That’s from being more physical in our routes.”