Finally getting into watching the games from start to finish, chronologically.
I like to do that to get a feel for things you just don't get otherwise when watching clips or highlights. Things like crucial moments during games, how the season is going and the various types of pressure that can create, the general emotions involved, the game within the game, matchups, etc...
Anyway, I started with Fabian. Not sure why, probably because I just haven't heard much about him except that he's an exciting prospect. Wanted to see for myself.
So far, I've watched the first four games of their season. Texas A&M, UNLV, BYU, and then Stanford.
I simply couldn't find the full second game against UNLV anywhere, it just doesn't exist as far as I can tell. Best I could do was a lengthy reel of highlights that did a good job in showing every play that was made by UCLA.
So what I've seen so far?
This kid is truly an exceptional athlete. You'd never know it watching him because he's so ridiculously fluid and smooth that it doesn't even look like he's trying sometimes.
He doesn't have any wasted movement. He's extremely patient, which ties into his athleticism since he totally trusts his legs, so he allows the receivers to state their intentions before really running with them. He does that and still manages to stay on their hips the entire time.
It's to the point where he almost looks disinterested, lol. It's pretty neat. That's further highlighted by the fact that he's not a big celebrator or someone who gets easily hyped. His teammates will be jumping around in excitement after a big play and he's just real chill. One might even question his love of the game because of it, but I won't standing where I am. That's the place for the scouts who have access to his background, family nembers, coaches, etc...
I really don't have any negatives. He gave up a garbage time TD right at the end of the BYU game that his team already had in the bag, but it's obvious he slacked off. It was a fade from far out and he just sort of let the receiver drift into the end zone towards the end of the route without contesting it. He was clearly mad at himself, as he should be, because it was just a stupid thing to do and unnecessarily went against him. Would've had a near perfect game had he just finished.
But, yeah, that's literally the only negative so far. Guy is a shutdown corner thus far from what I've seen. He's got the length and size you love in a press corner and uses it. He mostly played at the left side of the defense, but he lined up on the right side from time to time. Mora, his HC there, basically left him on an island close to every snap and usually against the opponent's best receiver.
Also, the knock on him about a lack of INTs isn't fair... at least not in these four games. QBs simply don't throw to his side. He's getting very few targets a game and only one or two of them are balls he can barely get his hands on, so they end up in pass breakups. Most of the times he's targeted come off of the most basic, 3-5 yard routes like quick slants and drags. All of which are contested, many ending in pass breakups because he almost always gets his arms in there. It's a joke, he's simply not attacked in any way.
Another knock on him, this one from Cooley, was that he's not a willing tackler or necessarily physical against the run/against blocks from receivers. I'd have to disagree to a degree because he's certainly willing when it's obvious run situations or the opponents line up in jumbo formations. He sets the edge extremely well and can get in the backfield in a hurry. Now, does he lay out and throw his body around? No, but I don't think he was being coached to do so. He held his own when it came to getting off of blocks overall, though there were more than a few times he did get stuck. I don't think it's a legit concern as I'm inclined to believe it was more about what he was told to do (shut this guy down in coverage) than anything else. He had no fear when it came to approaching the LOS or setting the edge among a group of big bodies when necessary.
Suffice to say, I'm extremely impressed. The best thing for me is I could swear he looks bored at times out there, like it's too easy for him.
Will dig in some more and see how the rest of his season went.