Q: here with Xavier Su'a-Filo. Talk about the season you just had. How was it coming back?
XS: man, it was awesome. It was awesome. Obviously, I don't think it ended up quite like how we would've liked it to. But to go out like this and have a successful season and be able to go to a bowl game, especially the Holiday Bowl, so close to LA. It's a special opportunity. I've fallen in love with this team. it's an absolutely amazing experience.
Q: how long did it take you to get over kind of the hangover of the PAC-12 championship game?
XS: you know what? After the PAC-12 championship game, it was kind of weighing on us. Some guys are still hung over on it. Just kind of use it for motivation next year. That's our goal: to go back again to that exact game. It sucked. You can't really "forget" it. But we also have to worry about Baylor now.
Q: did the skills and drills this week help to kind of burn that out of you guys?
XS: yeah, I think so. It just helped get our minds right, focus more. Especially with Finals week. A lot of guys didn't have time to sulk and worry about it. Study for finals. Do papers. Which as a matter of fact, I still have stuff to do.
Q: is this the first set of finals you had since you've been back?
XS: actually I had finals last quarter. I came in winter actually last year. It's been a year since I've been home from the mission, can you believe that?
Q: it's crazy. Do you still have thoughts... do you wake up some days and go, "I've got to go…"
XS: no, I actually don't. I'm out of that. But time flies. One of my good friends who I served my mission with said, "I've been home for almost 3 years now." And I'm like, "fff…" because he left when I had a year left, he went home. So he's been for almost 3 years now, that means I've been home almost a year. That's crazy. Time flies.
Q: obviously, you're eligible to enter the draft at least. Have you even thought about it and considered it?
XS: no, not at all. I heard about that, and I didn't know. But no, I plan on wearing a Bruins uniform next fall. Wearing this [jersey] all year.
Q: what do you think you need to work on the most, going forward?
XS: you know what? I need to work on better technique which will come, I think. And I need to work on getting stronger physically. I've been blessed to be pretty explosive and quick, but I need to be physically stronger. And so my dedication this offseason will be just that. Weight room, weight room, weight room. Making sure I'm taking care of my body. Getting enough rest. Eating more. I think that's a big problem with me. Again, just have to work hard…
Q: eating well is a big problem for you?
XS: well, it's not eating well. I eat good. But just deciding what times to eat…
Q: gotcha. Balancing your metabolism and all that stuff?
XS: exactly. And eating consistently. It's really easy to be lazy and just go to Jack in the Box, but I think I can do a lot better than that. I just have to have more self control. Remember why I'm doing it. Because if you don't remind yourself to constantly eat and hydrate, you don't.
Q: is that part of the thing that maybe the mission didn't super help with because it probably changed your eating habit from an athletic program?
XS: no, actually we had set times. We had time set out, plans when we're going to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner. You had them set. You just didn't know what you were going to eat, or what you were going to eat all the time, or …
Q: because obviously you're eating out of the homes, right?
XS: definitely. You eat what they give you. Food down South, especially if you're at a Spanish speaking mission, I had the best. The best Spanish food. The best chicken and dumplings… all that southern food. It was great.
Q: in terms of your season, it was playing guard for the first time and all that stuff… in terms of the NFL, do you see yourself being at a point next year where you can thinking about going?
XS: I think that's definitely a goal in mind. I feel like I'll cross that bridge when it comes. But I definitely want to be in a position to set myself up to maybe have that option. But right now, I'm just worrying about the bowl game, this offseason, and how we can get better as a team next year because it's flattering and stuff, but I just want our team to get ready so we can do well next year.
Q: what are your thoughts… I think you made all PAC-12 and I think you might have made like a second or third team All-American team, I don't know, maybe you didn't… but what are your thoughts on those kinds of honors and getting those after your first year back?
XS: it's flattering. It's awesome to be recognized like that and appreciated. But when I'm with my teammates, it's kind of hard, especially as an offensive lineman. One lineman can't really just stand out so as a unit… I'm thankful but just have to stay humble. Can't let it get to my head. Work hard because I still have a long way to go for next year.