Knox receives a greater look-see
UCLA has played eight games this season and still the Bruins are looking for a tailback to take some of the load off Johnathan Franklin.
That need has become more urgent as Franklin deals with nagging injuries. Franklin leads the team with 506 yards rushing, but his playing time may be consolidated to keep him fresh.
Who is backing him up has been a game of roulette each week.
Milton Knox may be the candidate this week, as he received more reps in practice Tuesday.
“Hopefully, that’s coming,” said Knox, a redshirt freshman.
“I’ve been fighting all this time to get an opportunity to show what I can do. I just want to help the team.”
Knox was one of four players suspended for the Kansas State game for violating team rules and missed the Oregon game because he was said to be ill.
He played in five games but has only five carries since gaining 45 yards in eight carries against San Diego State in the season opener.
“There is no question he can run the ball, that’s why he got recruited,” Coach Rick Neuheisel said. “But knowing what to do and where to be and when to be there are all important things.”
Neuheisel and his staff seem to have been unable to settle on anyone to take the load off Franklin, who suffered an ankle injury three weeks ago.
Derrick Coleman started the year as the No. 2 tailback but has seven carries in the last five games.
Christian Ramirez and Damien Thigpen have also seen their time reduced.
Knox gained 2,210 yards as a senior at Lake Balboa Birmingham High, but the suspension and the illness have slowed his progress.
“It seemed like I couldn’t catch a break,” Knox said. “I was sick and suspended, and there were a lot of things going on.
“I wasn’t playing and that was another burden on my shoulders. I’m doing all the extra stuff coaches want me to do so I can get on the field and show the coaches I can play.”
The mystery injury to freshman guard Stanley Hasiak remained just that Tuesday . . . a mystery.
Hasiak did not travel to the Oregon State game, because of a “personal health issue” given as the reason. Hasiak went through the entire practice Tuesday, participating on the scout team.
Asked whether Hasiak was going to play again this season, Neuheisel said, “We’ll wait and see. I just want to do what’s right by Stan and our ballclub. I want him to be fully healthy before getting back in there.”
Asked what was wrong with Hasiak, Neuheisel said, “It’s a personal issue.”
Hasiak was not made available to the media.
Eric Kendricks, a linebacker from Fresno Hoover, says he will attend UCLA next season. Kendrick, who is 6 feet 1, 215 pounds, plays outside linebacker at Hoover. He is ranked 57th overall at his position by Rivals.com.
Running back Darrell Scott asked for his release from Colorado and may be interested in transferring to UCLA. He is the nephew of UCLA receiver Josh Smith, who transferred from Colorado this year. . . . Cornerback Aaron Hester, who injured his right leg against Oregon State, was limited to individual drills in practice. . . . Center Kai Maiava, who hyperextended his right arm against Oregon State, sat out practice.