Demetric Felton was the little guy who came up big last season almost every time he carried the ball.
Listed at 5 feet 10 and 185 pounds, the receiver was a heavyweight among Bruins ballcarriers. His average of 7.5 yards per carry on jet sweeps, reverses and more traditional runs was the highest among those who rushed at least 10 times for UCLA.
Felton hasn’t exactly reprised that role in spring practices, but the redshirt sophomore would be open to a repeat performance in coach Chip Kelly’s first season.
“I’m definitely up for it,” Felton said Saturday, “so if coach Kelly gives me a chance to go in the backfield and run I’ll definitely be ready for it.”
Felton has been excited about the possibilities since Kelly was named coach in November. He knows how Kelly has used other slightly built players, including Crenshaw High’s De’Anthony Thomas, when Kelly was at Oregon. The hope is that Felton can be a playmaker regardless of position.
“I think I’m very good at moving the ball in space,” Felton said, “and so as he pushes me and gives me chances to move the ball in space, I can do that.”
Felton was far more productive as a running back last season than as a receiver; he caught only two passes for minus-two yards. He said he’s ready for whatever role coaches have for him in 2018.
“It’s all about trust,” Felton said. “So we’re all trying to trust each other and work hard together.”
A leg up?
J.J. Molson made three of six field goals (including one attempt that was blocked) near the start of practice, making it easily his worst showing of the spring.
Molson had been one of the standouts of the first four weeks of practice because of his confidence and consistency while working with new holder Matt Lynch, a backup quarterback.
“I’m enjoying it a lot more, having a lot more fun,” Molson said, “and definitely the game experience, every time I’m out there, I’m gaining more feel, if that makes sense.”
Molson doesn’t have much to prove going into next season. He made 17 of 21 tries last season, including four of six from 40-49 yards and a 37-yard game-winner against California with four seconds left.
Defensive end Rick Wade shed the yellow jersey that he had worn in recent weeks, signifying he was recovering from an injury. Meanwhile, safety Adarius Pickett donned a yellow jersey because of an unspecified injury. … Graduate transfer quarterback Wilton Speight, who announced on social media that he was joining the Bruins after his departure from Michigan, watched practice. Kelly did not speak with reporters to address Speight’s status.
Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch