COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : UCLA : Quarterback Fien Has a Fresh Outlook
Count Ryan Fien in the Bob Toledo fan club. Fien, UCLA’s No. 2 quarterback, sees Toledo, the Bruins’ new offensive coordinator, as something of a lease on life.
“He was announced as coach the same day I learned that the Pac-10 had given me another season of eligibility,” said Fien, a sophomore once again because the conference deemed 1993, in which he was in a game for one play, a non-season for him.
Shortly thereafter, he re-injured his foot and spent the rest of the season rehabilitating.
He’s back, with a new coach and a new outlook.
“I had two seasons under (former coordinator) Homer Smith, and he’s a great coach, but I just wasn’t going anywhere,” Fien said. “Last year, we didn’t know who was going to be the starting quarterback until three days before the first game, and there was pressure.
“Now, I know my role and it’s just a matter of getting ready.”
His role is backing up Wayne Cook, who won the No. 1 job last year.
Fien is spending August getting ready for the season, figuring he is the quarterback of the future and that he will probably get playing time this year.
He has added about 15 pounds, to 220, and matured. With maturity has come an adjustment of his style of play--and his throwing motion.
“I’m trying to throw the ball from here now,” he said, putting his right hand alongside his ear. “I used to throw from back here.”
“Back here” means his arm was well extended and he was flinging the football instead of throwing it.
“I understand now that you don’t have to throw a football through a wall,” he said. “The idea is throwing a ‘touch’ pass, and completing it.”
Troy Aldrich, moved from tight end to fullback in spring practice, is back at tight end. “I broke two vertebrae in the spring, and they figured that tight end wouldn’t put as much stress on me,” he said. . . . Reserve running back Derek Ayers is back with nine extra pounds, at no loss of speed. “I’m looking forward to seeing him run,” said Coach Terry Donahue. “He’s buffed up now and growing up.” Ayers, a sophomore, is up to 189 pounds and slated to be the No. 2 running back and No. 1 kick returner. . . . For the first time since 1991, wide receiver Bryan Adams has started fall practice without an injury.