A new candidate in UCLA's running-game-by-committee plan is Nate Starks, a 6-foot, 190-pound back.
Starks had a slow start in training camp because of a bout with the flu. He has come on in the last week.
“All if a sudden it was like, ‘Who are you? Where have you been?' ” Bruins Coach Jim Mora said. “You have seen it out here in practice. He is working into the offense. He looks explosive. He looks more confident.”
How he looks in a game is still to be determined.
Starks will travel with the team to Virginia for Saturday’s season opener. But the preference remains to use the Jordon James-Steven Manfro-Paul Perkins trifecta, with a dash of Myles Jack. Starks will play if there is a need big enough to burn his redshirt season.
Mora said the running back rotation would be “ongoing as the games goes on. Who is having a good day? Who is struggling? What type of defense are we facing? It has to be fluid.”
One thing is certain, the Bruins will use a handful of running backs.
“You look at college and pro football, everyone plays multiple backs,” Mora said. “You can’t expect a running back to take 80 snaps [per game]. They are not physically capable of it.”