Few people in the Washington football program expected to see Andre DeSaussure back this year.
The redshirt freshman receiver from Taft High was not catching on. He was not catching, period.
"When I came here, I was dropping everything," DeSaussure said.
Washington didn't need a receiver who couldn't catch, and one that, receivers coach Scott Linehan said, lacked concentration, maturity and discipline. He figured DeSaussure would be dropped from the program or would drop himself.
"He was not ready to play football, let alone college football, when he got here," Linehan said.
DeSaussure still has concentration lapses, but he is still in the program and nobody is doubting him. He has moved to No. 2 on the depth chart and has nine receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
"His improvement, from the time he walked through the door and checked in as a freshman until now, is phenomenal," Linehan said.
Quarterback Ryan Fien (Royal) has fallen to No. 2 on the UCLA depth chart, in part because of two concussions and a shoulder injury.
But the 6-4, 215-pound junior was banged up many times, only to rise again as a national motocross bicycle racing champion in his youth.
"I had more stitches, more black eyes . . . I had about four concussions," Fien said. "I stayed many nights in the hospital."
At age 9, Fien won a world championship race at the Indiana HoosierDome on Christmas.
Fien sparked UCLA's 17-10 victory over Arizona last week, coming off the bench to complete six of 10 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona's Derrick Stewart won't soon forget the sensational 14-yard scoring run by UCLA's Karim Abdul-Jabbar last week that made all the highlight shows.
As Abdul-Jabbar scrambled from sideline to sideline on a broken play, he escaped the grasp of Stewart, a cornerback from Granada Hills.
Senior receiver Iheanyi Uwaezuoke (Harvard-Westlake) needs seven catches to crack the top 10 on California's all-time receptions list. Bear sophomore Tarik Smith (Oak Park) has 230 yards rushing in 41 carries. . . . Oregon junior safety Jaiya Figueras (Glendale), who missed the Rose Bowl due to a knee injury, is out for the season with a broken ankle. Duck junior receiver Jibri Hodge (Saugus) has five receptions for 103 yards, an average of 20.6 a catch. . . . San Diego State junior kicker Peter Holt (Antelope Valley) has made six field goals without a miss. He and junior defensive back Freddy Edwards (Antelope Valley) were chosen co-players of the game on special teams in a 48-24 victory last week over Fresno State. . . . Sophomore safety Shaun Williams (Crespi) is UCLA's second-leading tackler with 36. Senior tackle George Kase (Hart) had 11 tackles last week against Arizona, including a sack and three tackles for a loss. Kase leads UCLA with four sacks and nine tackles for a loss. . . . Entering the week in soccer, freshman striker Nicole Bucciarelli (Grant) led UC Irvine (10-0-2) with seven goals and two assists. . . . Monica Girardo (Simi Valley) led Notre Dame with 15 goals and four assists in 12 matches. Teammate Cindy Daws (Louisville) had three goals and four assists. . . . Sophomore Michelle Nuesca (La Reina) had goals in consecutive matches for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Contributing: Tris Wykes.