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At UCLA, Bruins’ football team is early to rise

UCLA's football team has begun practicing at 7 a.m. "They get up and we have their full attention," Coach Jim Mora says of the new schedule.
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

UCLA punter Jeff Locke walked into practice Tuesday morning and made a general observation.

“It’s a beautiful day,” he said.

Tight end Joseph Fauria was on the other end, opinion-wise.

“It’s early,” Fauria said, though he was already moving at a midday pace.

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The Bruins began their new regimen Tuesday. Practices will begin at 7 a.m. UCLA has practiced in the late afternoon in previous seasons. Classes start Thursday.

“We gave it a lot of thought during the off-season in terms of what would be the best approach,” Coach Jim Mora said. “Kids have a lot to balance, with school certainly being a priority. Classes are starting and there is tutoring and they also need time to download a little bit.”

So the Bruins will practice in the morning, then have hour-long meetings in the late afternoon. The benefits, Mora said, are many.

“They get up and we have their full attention,” Mora said. “We can make sure they get out of bed, get to practice and are getting to classes. We can get a good meal in them after practice. They are motivated at that early hour.”

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