Chip Kelly says Dante Moore did a 'nice job' at first spring practice

On3 imageby:On3 Staff Report04/06/23

As UCLA hit the field for the start of spring football practice, coach Chip Kelly had a chance to start evaluating two new quarterback additions: five-star freshman Dante Moore and Kent State transfer Collin Schlee.

He came away pretty impressed initially.

“They did a nice job for Day 1. It’s all new to them, really, and you’re limited by what the rules are,” Kelly said. “So there was really no football done until Monday with these guys, and then Tuesday we get on the field with them. They’re both sharp, they both picked things up really well.”

Moore was the prize jewel of UCLA’s 2023 recruiting class, ranked as a five-star prospect and the No. 3 overall player in the nation according to the On3 Industry Rankings. He was the No. 2 quarterback in the nation and the top player in the state of Michigan.

He’ll have a chance to compete for the starting job right away with Dorian Thompson-Robinson now gone.

But those two quarterbacks aren’t the only ones vying for the job during spring football practice at the moment, even if the Bruins want to get Dante Moore up to speed as quickly as possible.

“It’s a really good quarterback room right now because (Ethan) Garbers has played for us and Ethan’s done some really nice things, you add Chase Griffin in there and then Justyn Martin, who’s had a really good offseason himself,” Kelly said. “I’m excited about all those guys. I thought they all had a good day on Day 1.”

One thing that may be difficult to ascertain early on this spring for UCLA is which quarterbacks are leading in the race. Dante Moore will be getting similar reps as everyone else.

Kelly likes to run practices at a very fast tempo when he’s got good depth, and that’s exactly what he has in the quarterback room.

“You’re trying to get a lot of guys reps and that’s what the big key is right now,” Kelly explained. “We learn by doing, and we only get 15 opportunities to do this, so we’ve got to be really structured in how we do it and really efficient in how we do it. But we’re trying to get multiple guys at certain positions reps and that’s really a challenge that we’re excited about as a coaching staff because we’ve got a bunch of guys that are really, really hungry and I think we’ve got some overall depth.”

With several quarterbacks in the position group, Kelly will get a lot of players reps until things need to be slimmed down a bit closer to fall camp.

Dante Moore will get his opportunities, as will Schlee and the others.

“Probably the biggest group that we’ve had for spring, and we’re healthy right now, so we can play fast, we can get a lot of reps in training sessions, and everybody benefits from that,” Kelly said. “But for the first day I thought those guys did a nice job.”