LOS ANGELES — Utah’s Filipo Mokofisi wasn’t sure how to react to the end of two-a-day practices, but the fifth-year senior defensive lineman knows how others will.
“We’re probably being called soft now by the older generation,” he said Thursday at Pac-12 Media Days at Hollywood and Highland. “But we’ll just have to play it out.”
Coaches and players had mixed reaction to the NCAA’s elimination of two-a-days as they were forced to quickly adjust their practice schedules and offseason routines. The change, made in the interest of player safety, banned schools from having multiple contact practices in one day, but allows the football preseason to begin a week earlier, thus stretching the same number of training camp practices over a longer period of time.
“Not having two-a-days, we’ll be able to battle every day for however long these practices are,” Stanford defensive lineman Harrison Phillips said. “We’ll be more physical, with fresher legs — as fresh as you can be in a football camp — but we’ll be able to hone in on the details and make the most out of as much time we have.”
Several schools, including Oregon State and Arizona State, opened training camp before Pac-12 Media Days started Wednesday. ASU’s media day contingent — defensive lineman JoJo Wicker, running back Kalen Ballage and Coach Todd Graham — went to practice Wednesday morning, arrived in Los Angeles at 1 p.m. for the two-day event, then returned to Tempe in time for Thursday night’s practice.
Oregon State coach Gary Anderson said he would prefer to have two-a-day practices, and will still have a form of them this year, but without contact. The NCAA permits a single, three-hour on-field practice and a walk-through within one day as long as the walk-through does not include the use of pads or helmets.
“We’ll still have those taxing mental practices that are 18 days of mental reps, which is so very, very important,” Andersen said. “I think you get…