Spring Practice: Day Four

Apparently, defensive back Aaron Hester is not too fond of whistles.

Midway through the UCLA football team's practice on Tuesday, tailback Derrick Coleman sped toward the sideline as a whistle blew. But Hester didn't pay much attention to the sound, instead bulldozing Coleman into a few players who were standing out of bounds. The players took offense, telling Hester the whistle had blown and that he was going to get someone hurt.

Hester responded with a couple of obscenities as he walked away.

There was more from where that came from, as the sequence summed up an intense and energetic practice session at Spaulding Field. Afterward, coach Rick Neuheisel spoke about the scuffles, as well as adding new offensive looks.

-- Linebacker Akeem Ayers and offensive lineman Brett Downey got involved in some extra curricular activities following one play. Ayers held Downey on his back until teammates separated the two.

-- Receiver Josh Smith "tweaked" his knee, according to Neuheisel. Smith ran a deep route to the middle of the field halfway through practice and jogged back to the line of scrimmage before falling to ground grabbing his knee. "They're saying a PCL," Neuheisel said. "Hopefully it's not too serious."

-- Receiver Taylor Embree (mild concussion) wore a red jersey for the third straight practice, but did not seem limited during drills. Neuheisel said Embree would be ready on Thursday. Offensive lineman Nik Abele has been bothered by stingers and was limited during practice. Team doctors are being cautious with Abele because he dealt with the same issue last season. "I've got my fingers crossed on those things."

-- Neuheisel has been impressed with the play of middle linebacker Patrick Larimore. "He's bringing great energy and great understanding," Neuheisel said. "I just got to get him -- when we're in thud tempo -- to stop throwing guys on the ground. That's the only reason he keeps getting kicked out of the drills, because it puts other guys at risk. He's got the makings of a really good player." Larimore, a redshirt sophomore, is in a battle with redshirt junior Steve Sloan for the spot that Reggie Carter filled the last two seasons.