Chandler makes his move, again
UCLA tight end Logan Paulsen is awaiting results of a CT scan on his right foot, injured during Saturday’s scrimmage.
The injury left the Bruins short-handed at tight end in spring practice, resulting in the seemingly annual position switch for Nate Chandler, who was back at tight end Monday.
“We’ll probably leave him at that position,” said Coach Rick Neuheisel. “It’s imperative we have some depth at tight end.”
Paulsen missed all but one series of the 2008 season after breaking the same foot in the opener against Tennessee.
The only other healthy tight ends are freshman Morrell Presley and junior Jeff Miller, who was fourth on the depth chart when spring practice began. Ryan Moya is out after minor surgeries on his right knee and right ankle, but is expected to be ready for the season. Cory Harkey has been slowed by a hamstring injury this spring.
This is the fourth time Chandler has had a position switch between tight end and tackle. He worked during the off-season to get up to 280 pounds, but said he does not intend to “lose weight drastically” because of the switch.
“It’s frustrating as a player, but I play on a team and I’m trying to help this team out the best I can,” Chandler said.
Chandler said he was told the move would be permanent, though he also said he has heard that before.
Paulsen will remain in limbo while doctors sort out his injury. X-rays taken Saturday were inconclusive and results of the CT scan, which were expected to be available Monday afternoon, had not arrived.
Paulsen said all he knew for sure was “this won’t require surgery.” Surgeons placed a screw in his fifth metatarsal last fall.
“The screw looks good and it’s not swollen too badly,” Paulsen said. “It’s definitely not the same thing as before.”
If the foot is broken, Paulsen probably would be out four to six weeks.
The offensive line experienced a small upheaval.
Sean Sheller moved to Chandler’s right tackle spot. Jeff Baca moved from left guard to left tackle. Sonny Tevaga moved up to the first team at left guard, an upgrade based on his play in the scrimmage.
“I call him R.C. Tevaga -- roller coaster Tevaga,” offensive line coach Bob Palcic said. “He’ll play pretty good for a while, then he’ll do something to break my heart.”
Palcic, though, said Tevaga has lost “30-40 pounds” and was “moving around better and playing decently.”
As to whether the arrival of highly regarded freshmen Xavier Su’a-Filo and Stanley Hasiak in August would help, Palcic said, “The players coming in are excellent, but let’s be realistic that they are going to be 17-year-old freshmen.”