UCLA football: Ishmael Adams' playmaking ability impresses new coach

UCLA football: Ishmael Adams' playmaking ability impresses new coach
UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams warms up before a win over Virginia on Aug. 30, 2014. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Anyone who regularly sees UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams play never thinks he's too small.

Tom Bradley, the Bruins’ new defensive coordinator, has already joined the “I like Ish” contingent.

"I'm a big fan of guys who make plays," Bradley said.

Ishmael, listed a 5 feet 8, made one during 11-on-11 team drills at  Thursday's practice. He swooped into the offensive backfield from the right, leaped and deflected a Jerry Neuheisel pass. Linebacker Kenny Young snagged the ball and went for a touchdown.

Add it to a list of Adams' moments this spring, which include outjumping Alex Van Dyke, a 6-3 receiver, for an interception last week.

"I know there are people who will say, 'He's not tall or he's not this,' but he makes up for a lot of things with his ability," Bradley said. "He's a guy who gets better because he's a guy who is intent on getting better. He makes up for things with his recognition."

It's a big reason why Adams has started 26 consecutive games for UCLA the past two seasons.

Practice notes

--Van Dyke missed practice after suffering a slight hamstring injury on Wednesday. Running back Craig Lee, who was also injured Wednesday, returned to drills.

--The Bruins went through a light practice without full pads Thursday. Neuheisel, running the first team, completed five of eight passes. Quarterback Asiantii Woulard, who ran the second team, completed seven of nine passes.

--Receiver Devin Fuller, who has 112 receptions in three seasons, put his skills on display during 11-on-11 work. He had two short receptions that he turned into big gains.

--Saturday's practice is closed to the public.