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August 6, 2013

Going Camping: Special Teams

UCLA fall camp is just a day away, and with that, BruinSportsReport.com wraps up its Going Camping preview with the special teams.


1. Sean Covington - 6-2, 195, Freshman

Sink or swim, UCLA appears to be poised to send Covington out to be its punter this season, willing to live through some possible freshman growing pains.

2. Ka'imi Fairbairn - 5-11, 185, Sophomore

He punted a little bit in practice last season and didn't look great doing it. UCLA would be hard-pressed to make him its full-time punter and kicker this year.


1. Fairbairn

The Bruins are anticipating big growth from their second-year kicker this season, and he appears poised to deliver it.

2. Covington

Some special teams scouts actually believe Covington might be as good of a kicker as he is a punter. He should be No. 2 in line if Fairbairn falters.


1. Steven Manfro - 5-9, 189, RS Sophomore

He had his struggles last season, but he's healthy now, and should get a good chance to be the starting kick returner.

2. Devin Fuller - 5-11, 195, Sophomore

An explosive athlete, Fuller could give UCLA a homerun threat here if the staff views it as a good idea to put him in harm's way on special teams.


1. Shaquelle Evans - 6-1, 204, RS Senior

He may not be a threat to take one to paydirt, but he's the most reliable punt returner this team has.

2. Randall Goforth - 5-10, 190, Sophomore

Goforth was lightning last year in limited reps as a punt returner, and could be the team's returner when they need a big gain.


1. Christopher Longo - 6-3, 204, Sophomore

He's the veteran of this unit, and should get the crack at the starter job if he's fully healthy from a knee injury last year.

2. Reed Buce - 6-2, 240, Freshman

A touted true freshman walk-on, Buce could find himself as the starter this year if he impresses in August.

The punter and kicker spots should be locked up, even if both Covington and Fairbairn struggle this camp. So the battles to watch will be at returner and long snapper. Reed Buce comes in with a lot of hype as a Division I long snapper, and he should give Christopher Longo a good run. UCLA will also be looking to upgrade its return spots from last year, which means Shaq Evans and Steven Manfro need to impress this month.

Ka'imi Fairbairn had an excuse last year that he won't have this year. He's now a year older, a year stronger, a year more ready for big games. With Covington's big leg now behind him on the depth chart, there could be some grumblings if he struggles.

Sean Covington is the No. 1 newcomer to watch here.  As a true freshman punter, the staff, media and fans will have their eyes glued on him throughout these next few weeks.

Shaq Evans should get the nod here. He's the only reliable returner on the team, and if necessary, he can even field kickoffs in addition to punts.

Going Camping Review

Running backs
-Offensive line
-Defensive line



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