Q&A with Frosh WR Devin Lucien

The one incoming freshman wide receiver, Devin Lucien, talks about his work load being in the summer session, the voluntary workouts, the help he's getting from the veteran WRs and his advantageous roomate...

Devin Lucien, the 6-0 freshman receiver, talked to us recently about the transition to college.

BRO: Well, you've been working out with the team, taking part in these ‘voluntary' 7-ons a couple times a week after lifting and conditioning and doing agility. Any shock to the system with all of the stuff you've got going on right now?

DL: Man, I just feel busy. I feel like I have so much time to give to this school and I don't have a lot of time to give to myself, but that's what I signed up for. I'm just trying to get used to everything, trying to get acclimated with my teammates and trying to get used to different things on the football field, like if Aaron Hester is trying to jam me or Sheldon Price being super fast. In high school, you're used to being that guy to just get rid of the DBs really easily. But at the D-1 level, with these top-notch corners, it's a lot harder, so I'm just trying to get acclimated with everything so I can provide in any way I can for the university.

BRO: Does that get frustrating for you when you're out here?

DL: It's very frustrating going against Hester. He's getting his hands on you (at the line of scrimmage) and slowing down your route and I'm not used to getting slowed down, so I'm just trying to get used to everything and trying to just do my part, take some advice from the older guys, Taylor Embree and Nelson Rosario, so they're helping me out getting adjusted to everything so I think I should be fine.

BRO: What are they telling you, just about getting off the line and into your routes?

DL: They're telling me that I get off the line really fast, but I need to be more patient so I can get into my routes, get in and out of my route faster. They've said I'm getting too quick off the line and the DB is going to hit me right when I get off, so I'm just trying to get used to everything.

BRO: If high school is here, at this level, where is what you're doing now? How many steps up that ladder?

DL: It's a lot. I'm just trying to work hard, but like you said there are a lot of steps on the ladder on each step up, so hopefully I can just help the university. That's all I'm trying to do, trying to help.

BRO: Has the schedule thrown you at all? Depending on what group you're in, you can be out on the field at 6 in the morning or something like that and now it's after 7, you're just finishing up …

DL: Well, they don't have me up at 6, but I have something to do every morning. I wake up by 9 every morning. I have some kind of meeting to go to, then I've got class and then from class I have to go to practice and then after practice I have PRP and then after PRP I have tutoring, then I have to go back to my room and do my homework and then I get to go to sleep. It's really more time to the university than my own time, but I think they do that on purpose as a freshman just to keep you busy and keep your mind on straight. I'm not trying to do a lot of stuff outside of football and school right now anyway because I've got my head on trying to play this year and trying to just do my thing.

BRO: You talk about trying to play this year and you look at the receivers group and there are a lot of talented guys who have been in the program, guys with experience, but the production really hasn't been there for any of them. You must see a window there, so what were you told coming in about that opportunity and are you seeing it play out a little at this early point?

DL: Well, when I was getting recruited, I mean, recruiters do lie, they'll tell you what they need to tell you to get you there, but when they were recruiting me they told me I could come in and play as a true freshman and help the university and try to do my thing. But, I mean, I'm not trying to be cocky or anything, but I don't want to just play I want to try to get a spot on the field. I have all the respect in the world for these older guys, but everybody is trying to do their thing and I feel like if I'm not going to be playing all the time then I probably should redshirt just to save a year because I feel like your freshman year is very important. There's a lot to think about now, that I could probably go even higher, to the next level, where before I was just thinking about trying to get to school. It's a lot different trying to get acclimated to everything and trying to play, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm ready to play.

BRO: I know your recruitment here picked up late, but when you were being recruited, did you see something in this pass offense? I mean, the pass offense obviously struggled. Did you see something within the offense, something they were trying to do, that made you think, ‘This will work for me?'

DL: To be honest, I didn't really even like the offense they ran that year. UCLA didn't offer me until the season was over and I didn't know I was going to be coming here until probably a good month before signing day. Well, I didn't know until signing day, but they gave me a month to decide whether I was coming here or not. So I didn't really pay that much attention to their offense, but I knew I wasn't a fan of the Pistol. But when I was getting recruited, (offensive coordinator) Mike Johnson, who came from the 49ers, told me what he was trying to do with the offense and that he was a passing guy. I hope he wasn't lying. That's all I can hope for. I haven't seen him out here or anything, and I can't base anything off 7-on-7 on whether we're passing because that's all you do in 7-on-7. To be honest, I'm really kind of blind going into this season. I'm not really sure what to expect.

BRO: Well, it is against the rules for him to be out here. But when you think Pistol, you think Nevada rushed for 4,000 yards or whatever it was. But Hawaii also ran its offense out of the Pistol and they passed for 5,000 yards or something like that. It is possible, it just didn't happen here …

DL: I just hope for the best. I don't want to be just a passing team and I don't want to be just a rushing team. I want it to be balanced. Of course, every receiver wants to get the ball, but I just want the best for my team. I'm not trying to be selfish out here and say I want the ball all the time. I'm too young to even say anything. I'm just riding it out, getting ready for camp so I can do my best and hopefully play as a true freshman.

BRO: You mentioned the competition within the group, what's going to happen in the fall, but Taylor was out there earlier talking to you a lot, giving you advice on things. Is he taking you through routes, taking you through adjustments?

DL: He's taking me through the routes. He's helped me a lot. Taylor is a really nice guy. It's funny. I asked him if his dad hates me because I didn't go to Colorado. But me and Taylor, he and I are really cool. He's a great guy. He's seems like a phenomenal player and a phenomenal athlete. I think he's just a real grounded guy. But going back to what he was helping me with, I feel like when Hester was trying to jam me sometimes that I was running slower than I should be. But he told me they were running Cover 2 so that would happen if he were running the route, that would happen if Nelson were running the route, because I was running a comeback, so obviously I'm going to be slowed down because he's trying to sit under me, so he was just explaining what coverage that was and what to do if I ever see that coverage again. He and Nelson are really taking me under their wing and trying to show me around, show me how to run these routes and get ready for camp, so I can turn some heads when camp comes.

BRO: How comfortable are you with that coming in here, in terms of seeing and identifying a coverage, making the right adjustments? It's not just a matter of running by the guy in front of you any more …

DL: I'm really a student of the game and I like learning and even in high school, I did stuff that other receivers didn't do and I think that's why my recruiting shot up so much, is that a lot of the recruiters thought I was a really polished receiver in what I did. I'm really a student of the game – I want to hear stuff, I want to see it, too. I'm more of a viewing learner, so when you talk about trying to adjust to what these DBs and corners are doing, I think I'm going to learn that as time comes on because I'm studying with Brett Hundley, Brett is my roommate, I'm studying the plays and learning. Like, if Hester is on the inside I need to go on the outside, if he's on the outside I need to go on the inside, and do everything off of what he's doing so I can be successful. I'm just a student of the game and I'm trying to learn everything as best and as soon as I can so I can just turn some heads.

BRO: So you guys are studying it together …

DL: We have this really big white board in the room and he will write a play and I have to tell him what it is. It's a huge benefit having Brett Hundley as my roommate because not only has he been here for six months already he has the playbook down for the most part really good and he can teach me a lot and we can go over a lot of things. I mean, with him being my roommate and having Taylor and Nelson out here trying to coach me up a little bit while the coaches aren't out here, is a real blessing and I thank God for that.

BRO: Yeah, Brett is probably a good guy to get to know here these next four years …

DL: He really is. We always talk about that, being that one-two punch, and we're just trying to work to get it done and help UCLA as best as we can.

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