Q&A With Simon Goines

Simon Goines talks about competing for the right tackle spot in the fall, where he is physically, and what he thinks his strengths are...

We spoke with the incoming freshman offensive lineman from Texas, Simon Goines, about everything that pertains to him coming in this fall and competing to play.

Q: Has Coach Klemm talked to you about coming in and immediately competing for that right tackle spot?

A: Yeah, he has. He's been telling me it's really just wide open and that it's mine for the taking. He's told me to just come up there and do what I do best.

Q: Do you feel like you're physically ready to come in and compete at the college level immediately?

A: Yeah, I actually do. I'm 6'8, 301, so I feel that physically, I'm where I need to be heading into the fall.

Q: Has Klemm given you any advice on what work he wants you to put in physically between now and when you get into school?

A: Really just keep my same size and just get in the best shape that I can. That'll involve a lot of conditioning, but I'm excited for it.

Q: How much did Klemm come out to see you when you were in high school?

A: When he was at SMU, he used to come see me, him and the SMU people, they used to come see me a lot. They came to a lot of my games. When he switched to UCLA, this was like in a two week span, and he was out there like three times. We had already had a really good relationship, since he had been recruiting me for the two years prior.

Q: Was it primarily your relationship with Klemm that made you want to commit to UCLA?

A: It was the relationship with Coach Klemm and the relationship with, when I went on my official visit, the relationship I had and how comfortable I felt with the rest of the coaching staff and the players. It just kind of fit me better than any other school, and I felt that when I'm comfortable, I'm at my best. I work my hardest.

Q: So you're coming in in June. Are you prepared for dealing with college academics?

A: Yeah, it's going to be a bit of transition, kind of getting used to college and getting ahead of the game. I think I'm going to major in Economics or maybe something with Sports Management.

Q: Were you primarily a right tackle in high school or were you mostly at left?

A: I played left all four years.

Q: Is there anything you have to get used to playing right tackle as opposed to left? Is there anything you have to do differently?

A: It's really not challenging for me because I'm right handed, so it just kind of comes naturally for me. But it's kind of different between right and left. It's something you have to get used to. I have a trainer who I train with and we do different stuff, so I'm comfortable with it now but, like Coach Klemm has told me, I'm not going to be a right tackle the whole time I'm at UCLA.

Q: At 6'8, you're obviously pretty tall for the position. Is playing with good pad level an issue for you at any point?

A: It's not really hard for me. It's kind of like, the better the competition I play against, the lower I play. It's really based on the competition I play against. It's like, in high school, I kind of would play…everybody wasn't too good in high school, so it's kind of hard to give it your all every time when you know you can pancake a guy without even trying. When I give it everything I've got, I think I can go head to head with anybody. It's really just my mentality.

Q: What do you think your big strength is as a lineman?

A: I think my area of strenght is kind of like a combo of run and pass, because I'm really quick for my size because I was a basketball player before I played football. Like, I had basketball offers early on as well. A lot of people think that just because you're big, your feet are slow or something but I have really quick feet, I think, which helps with pass blocking. And I think I'm good at run blocking, and just getting my hands on somebody.

Q: Is basketball something you'd want to potentially do in the future at UCLA?

A: I might consider it later on, but I really just want to focus on football.

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