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Whoever wins UCLA QB job, Eldridge Massington will be receptive to him

Whoever wins UCLA QB job, Eldridge Massington will be receptive to him
UCLA receiver Eldridge Massington (82) makes a goal line catch during the first day of the Bruins'camp at Cal State San Bernardino on Aug. 10. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The UCLA quarterback competition as seen through the eyes of a wide receiver:

"I think it's funny to watch them compete," Eldridge Massington said. "They are all trying to step into the role, learn how to be the guy."

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Whoever "the guy" is doesn't seem to concern the receivers too much. Freshman Josh Rosen and juniors Jerry Neuheisel and Mike Fafaul are said to be in competition for the job. Rosen and Neuheisel did the work during a light practice Saturday morning.

Rosen completed seven of 10 passes and Neuheisel six of nine during noncontact team drills.

Receivers more or less shrug.

"We just play," Massington said. "We just go out there with whoever. We don't care who the quarterback is. Just throw us the ball and we're good."

Receiver Mossi Johnson was in agreement.

"They all throw different balls and have different ways they look at things," Johnson said. "You just make sure you're at the right place at the right time. You've got to depend on them to give you the rock. If they don't give you the rock, it's no big deal. There's other people on the field who want the ball too."

Rosen labored through a practice Wednesday. The coaching staff had installed new parts to the offense the previous evening and Rosen was on the learning curve.

Rosen's play, and maturity, has impressed Johnson.

"He throws like he's been [in college] already," Johnson said. "He's at the same spot I am. He throws a good ball. I catch a good ball."

Jack's back

Linebacker Myles Jack was back a practice Saturday, a day after being ejected from workouts following a fight with tackle Conor McDermott.

On the second play during team drills Saturday, Jack and guard Alex Redmond confronted each other during the noncontact play. Afterward, they patted each other on the helmet. A day earlier, Redmond and Jack had heated words after Jack angrily stormed around the field for several minutes following the fight with McDermott.

Jack apologized later Friday night.

"We're great friends, it was the first day of full pads and there was real competition," McDermott said. "We moved on and today was a better day."

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As for the fight, McDermott said, "It's hot out there. When you're an offensive lineman battling in the trenches, you're in the heat of the moment. You have to step back and realize it's one of your teammates and your good friend."

Coach Jim Mora was less chatty about the affair. He adamantly refused to discuss it beyond saying, "It was a fight. Everyone is making too big a deal about it."

Clark's status

Tight end Chris Clark, who has been out with mononucleosis, will begin workouts next week, Mora said.

Clark was ranked by recruiting analysts as one of the top high school tight ends in the nation last season while at Avon (Conn.) Old Farms Prep. He has been recovering from mononucleosis for two weeks.

"This is a trickier deal," Mora said. "It's more than just him feeling energy. They have to make sure his spleen is OK."

Mora said Clark would not redshirt this season.

"He'll play versus Virginia," Mora said of the Bruins' season opener Sept. 5. "We didn't bring him here to redshirt, I can tell you that."

Clark, who caught 33 passes for 417 yards and six touchdowns at Old Farms last season, is listed at 6 feet 6 and 247 pounds. He lost considerable weight since while sick.

Dual threat

Massington said he spent the off-season playing a lot of basketball as a way to improve as a receiver.

"Basketball skills correlate with playing receiver," Massington said. "I'd go to the Wooden Center and sometimes play against our basketball players. I kill them all."

Particularly Tony Parker, the Bruins' 6-9 center.

"I'm more an inside guy," the 6-3 Massington said. "I post him up and dunk on him every now and then. I play big in the paint. I'm like Charles Barkley."

Follow Chris Foster on Twitter @cfosterlatimes

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