UCLA’s Randall Carroll, Morrell Presley display their talents


These were the guys earmarked for the come-to- UCLA brochure that Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel longs to produce.

Wide receiver Randall Carroll and tight end Morrell Presley picked UCLA over USC. While there wasn’t much evidence to why there was such a recruiting tug-a-war last fall, there is this spring.

Carroll, in particular, has impressed coaches. His play was a sharp contrast to others Monday. Carroll snagged everything thrown his way, while other receivers were lost on routes and dropping passes.

Neuheisel chastised others for not seizing opportunities in a post-practice media session. But Carroll, he said, “is a guy who is doing just that.”

Carroll is a two-time California high school 100-meter champion, but he is now demonstrating the sticky fingers that can make his speed dangerous on the field.

“He always could run; now he’s learning to be a football player,” offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. “He’s learned to control his speed and be a receiver. He is going to be a star.”

Carroll learned as he went during a rough freshmen season. He finished with three receptions for only 21 yards. His ability to pick up large chunks of yards has been apparent this spring.

“I’m a playmaker,” said Carroll. “I need to use that to stretch the field.” To do that, Carroll said, “I had to show them I could consistently make plays. Coming out of high school, they knew I could make plays, but I didn’t show them in person.”

Likewise, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Presley has shown the big-play capabilities. Like Carroll, he offers unique skills, with size to overwhelm defensive backs and speed that few linebackers can match.

Presley, who had only six receptions for 43 yards last season, is being used in the F-back position, where he will be moved around in the Bruins “pistol” offense. An F-back is a receiver/blocker who is moved around.

“He can be a wide receiver at times and a tight end at times,” Neuheisel said. “He is physical enough to make blocks and can even come around backfield to be a running back. Morrell just needs to organize it all so he doesn’t make any mistakes.”

Quick hits

Wide receiver Nelson Rosario hyperextended his left knee during a passing drill Monday.... Center Kai Maiava will miss the remainder of practice after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament during Friday’s scrimmage. Neuheisel said that will take at least six weeks to heal.... Christian Ramirez, who has spent his UCLA career shuttling between defense and offense, got another look on the offensive side at the F-back spot.