Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/21/12
LOS ANGELES - The crowd noise blasted over the loudspeakers at Spaulding Field on Saturday afternoon. As the noise of the speakers dimmed, noise from the real crowd sang out. "Manfro! Manfro!" came from the UCLA fans in attendance sitting just beyond the west endzone. Manfro. As in UCLA redshirt freshman running back Steven Manfro. "He's had a lot of buzz this spring," said UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut. Manfro added to that buzz on Saturday. As the Bruins took to their first scrimmage of the spring, the emphasis was on tempo. For the first couple of possessions, at least, no one's tempo matched that of Manfro. The first drive of the scrimmage, engineered by Kevin Prince, lasted just two plays and was capped off by a Manfro 52-yard touchdown reception, unofficially. On the next drive, with Brehaut at the controls, Manfro capped the seven-play drive with a touchdown on an eight-yard swing pass, unofficially. "It was good," Manfro said. "I just tried to get out here and just do my best. I just wanted to prove to people that I could play at this level and I could play with the best of them." So far this spring, Manfro has done a good job of proving he belongs and adds to what appears to be a deep pool of running backs. "I think that's probably our strongest position our running backs. We got a good group of kids back there," said offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. "My job as a coach is to not have too many of those guys standing next to me on the sideline. So we're looking for ways that we can get those guys in the game and get the ball in their hands." While Manfro had all the buzz, all eyes were on the UCLA quarterbacks. In the first portion of the scrimmage before the team started working on situations Prince and Brehaut combined to complete their first six passes, including two touchdowns. On his first touchdown scoring drive, Brehaut went 5-for-5 for 55 yards unofficially. "That's exactly what it should look like," Brehaut said. "I thought we had a great tempo on that first drive, and just kept moving a little bit here, a little bit here and finally we had a one-on-one opportunity with Manfro." Mazzone was pleased with what he saw as well. "I like tempo. I like it when they cross the goaline. That's my favorite part. That was our big push today that we were going to really go," Mazzone said. "We wanted to see if our kids could play fast and execute." The first incompletion of the day, was a completion by Brett Hundley to linebacker Patrick Larimore. As far as the competition goes, there was still no separation. "They get stuck on some progressions every now and then that they need to come off of, but that's just repetition. I think they're starting to fit all of the concepts of the offense together," said Mazzone. "It's like a Rubik's Cube, you got to keep turning it until you get the colors right. I think they're getting closer. "I like them all right now." NOTES The first portion of the scrimmage lasted five possessions. The remainder of the scrimmage they worked on situations short yardage, goaline, and overtime .During the situational part of the scrimmage, Manfro rushed for a 33-yard touchdown ....QBs Kevin Prince, Richard Brehaut, Brett Hundley, and Jerry Neuheisel all received reps during the scrimmage Head coach Jim Mora called the scrimmage "average" but says it was to be expected .LBs Aaron Wallace and Patrick Larimore left the scrimmage with "concussion-like symptoms," according to Mora CB Brandon Sermons will undergo surgery for a broken bone in his hand. His status for the remainder of the spring is uncertain Former UCLA RB DeShaun Foster attended Saturday's practice.
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