The Bruins have released their latest two-deep depth chart.
UCLA football announced its 29 starters and 29 backups for its upcoming game against Fresno State as of Monday. Coach Chip Kelly has made it clear that these lineups can shift drastically before their kickoffs on Saturdays, but it is at least an insightful look at where things stand for the Bruins at the moment.
Considering the released depth chart is identical to the one from before the LSU game, Kelly clearly didn’t change much, but All Bruins is still here to break down all the most notable storylines.
Sam Marrazzo missed the first two games of 2021 with a knee injury he sustained against Stanford last season. While he has been active in practice, he hadn't been with the 1s in fall camp, leaving the starting job to Jon Gaines II as he recovered.
For the past two weeks, Marrazzo has started pairing up with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the early practice snap drills, insinuating he could be returning to the field sooner rather than later. Kelly has been evasive on his actual concrete status for the Fresno State game, but he has continued to say Marrazzo is "progressing."
Just based on what's been visible in practice, it seemed like this was going to be the week Marrazzo made his first appearance on the two-deep.
Marrazzo is missing once again, but there is still a possibility he makes the start at center and pushes Gaines back to right guard.
Another week of Zach Charbonnet dominance has not changed Kelly's mind on who RB1 is.
Charbonnet and Brittain Brown were always going to share the load in some capacity, and that plan is being followed very closely so far in 2021. 75.6% of the running back carries have gone to the pair, and that's with Keegan Jones and Brian Kowall getting a good number of garbage time snaps against Hawaii.
Brown has earned 32 touches to Charbonnet's 19, however, so it hasn't exactly been a 1A-1B situation. While Brown is far from a work horse, he is still getting the majority of the carries out of the backfield, posting 195 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the process.
Charbonnet exploded out of the gates as an early Heisman candidate, putting up four touchdowns and 272 total yards for a cartoonish 14.3 yards per touch, but that isn't swaying Kelly and running backs coach DeShaun Foster just yet.
Unless Brown gets hurt or his numbers drop off dramatically, it doesn't seem like the plan is going to change anytime soon.
Something that was very clear heading into this season was just how much depth the Bruins were going to have at linebacker.
Ale Kaho and Jordan Genmark Heath entered the picture out of the transfer portal, and Caleb Johnson was returning for his second year with the program as a former JUCO transfer himself. That left one spot on the two-deep for one of the younger guys, and it became clear all the way back in spring camp that Kain Medrano was going to get it.
That left sophomores Damian Sellers and JonJon Vaughns on the outside looking in. Sellers, when he's been healthy, has been running with the scout team, so his absence from the depth chart wasn't all that surprising.
Vaughns has seen a good chunk of playing time so far this season, however, and he continues to stand out physically and in drills at practice. He has given UCLA pretty much the same production as Medrano through two games, and he may continue to push for that fourth linebacker spot.
He didn't take it this week, but keep an eye on Vaughns to see if he can continue to grab a hold of more and more playing time as the season goes on.
William Nimmo Jr. has been running with the 2s since the start of fall camp, and it isn't as if he's had noticeably poor play that would force the staff to start decreasing his time on the field.
But two games into the season, he has yet to record a stat, while running back-turned-striker Martell Irby has two tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and a scoop and score that was eventually called back against Hawaii. In his first season on the defensive side of the ball, he's been active, aggressive and a favorite of the coaching staff.
It's more surprising to see Irby missing than it is Vaughns, but he too is a player who stands to make some noise and earn more snaps in the coming weeks.
The full depth chart can be seen here: