The most impressive play by a UCLA receiver Saturday didn’t count.
Sophomore Devin Fuller ran a crossing route, sending a Nevada defender on a Where’s Waldo search. He snagged a pass from quarterback Brett Hundley in stride for a 30-yard touchdown reception.
All for naught. It was called back because of a penalty.
No worries. Freshman Jalen Ortiz caught a pass on the next play and Jordon James then burst through the line for a 26-yard touchdown run.
“You can’t really say anything about it, but it hurt,” Fuller said. “But Jalen got his first [career] catch and J.J. scored on the next play.”
It did, though, underscore the type of player Fuller seems on the verge of becoming.
“He showed some of his speed on that play,” offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said.
Fuller came to UCLA as a quarterback last year, but filled a need at receiver five games into the season. He finished with 20 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
“He has come light years from last year,” Mazzone said. “He was a scout team quarterback when we moved him. It’s been fun to watch.”
Fuller honed his craft watching tape of Evans and “other draft-eligible receivers,” he said.
“You watch Shaq and see how he runs routes and gets open,” Fuller said. “You start to learn the different coverages.”
But mainly, Fuller said, “I’m a lot more confident in the role.”
Fuller had four receptions for 39 yards Saturday. It could have easily been five for 69 yards.
“Last year, he seemed just happy to be in there,” Evans said. “This year, he’s going to have a big season.”