SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Late on Wednesday night, Chris Ward posted on his Facebook page that he had medically retired. After various knee and back surgeries, the junior guard wrote he would rather walk when he's older than continue playing this way.
After Thursday morning's practice, head coach Jim Mora confirmed that Ward had indeed left the team.
"He's decided that he's going to medically DQ - yes," Mora said. "So he left yesterday and I think they'll take care all of the paperwork sometime this week."
"It's unfortunate," sophomore tackle Xavier Su'a-Filo said. "Chris is a friend of mine. I wish him the best. He's had some trials with injury and I hope when he puts his health No. 1, he'll be able to do well. Hopefully we can get someone else in here to do a good job."
Mora is unsure when he'll finally get most of his linemen back on the field.
A snippet from practice
-After another dust-up between defensive end Datone Jones and another defensive player on Thursday morning, Mora had finally seen enough fighting out in San Bernardino. He separated the two, and then sent Jones to the showers. Mora declined to comment on the incident after practice.
-Walk-on receiver Tyler Scott had two of the week's best touchdown catches. First, he climbed the ladder to haul in a touchdown over three defenders. Then, just a few plays later, he reached over freshman corner Ishmael Adams to snag another jump-ball touchdown.
-Senior quarterback Kevin Prince appears to be in third place for the quarterback competition right now, but that didn't stop him from throwing a beauty of a pass to Shaquelle Evans on the first play of 11-on-11s. Evans beat safety Tevin McDonald, caught the ball and was off to the races for an 80-yard score. The entire offense went to celebrate with him.
-Kickers Ka'imi Fairbairn and Justin Moreno had to kick today with players screaming at them and water being thrown on them. As a result, neither performed very well, with Fairbairn going 5-for-9 and Moreno going 4-for-9 during the morning session.
Being an injured player at UCLA has finally become difficult. In the spring, injured players were allowed to ride stationary bikes in the shade of breezy Westwood. Now, out in the heat of San Bernardino, Mora has not only required the stationary bikes to be moved to the sun, but he's also made the injured players wear their helmets while working out. The move is an effort to make the Bruins tougher and defer players from sitting out with minor injuries.
Freshman receiver Kenny Walker. In a 2012 class with a bunch of Rivals250 players, three-star Walker has been the best true freshman out at camp so far. He's made explosive play after explosive play, and busted off a few more big gains again on Thursday morning.
Senior Y receiver Joseph Fauria. Fauria has sat out just about every day of fall camp so far. First it was light-headedness, then it was a hand injury, and now it's a hip. He's dressed out the last two practices, but hasn't participated in any of the 11-on-11 portions of practice yet.
FB Luke Gane (hernia) C Tre Hale (heat) OL Colby Cyburt (back) OL Jeff Baca (heat) OL Simon Goines (heat) OL Chris Ward (retired) OL Torian White (chest) OL Brett Downey (heat) LB Jeremy Castro (eligibility) S Dalton Hilliard (heat) LB Jordan Zumwalt (heat) DB Dylan Price (abs) LB Patrick Larimore (concussion) LB Nate Iese (personal) DL Ellis McCarthy (knee) DL Brandon Tuliaupupu (shoulder) DL Cassius Marsh (heat) Y Darius Bell (quad) WR Javon Williams (heat) Y Joseph Fauria (hip)
Returned to Practice:
WR Ricky Marvray (back) RB Malcolm Jones (groin) WR Jerry Johnson (groin)
"Offensive line, we do everything together. We move in a group, it's pretty funny, we're huge, we're big guys. We go eat together and we put all our tables together." -Su'a-Filo on how the bonding of UCLA camp has gone so far.