VIDEO: Iese on Why the Y

Redshirt freshman Nate Iese came to UCLA as an outside linebacker, was moved to defensive end in spring, and now showed up in San Bernardino with a blue jersey on, making another move to the Y position...

Nate Iese talked to us after practice.

On the positional change:
It happened during a little break, when we were doing condition and some running with Coach Alosi.  That's when they kind of evaluate us and where our body is at.  My weight wasn't where they wanted it to go. My weight was 240 and my goal weight was 255 and it didn't seem like I could put on weight.  So for me, I wanted to play a position where I could felt most comfortable and be most successful at my weight right now  So I talked to the coaches and they referred me to the Y position, which I played last year on the scout team.  So I went back and they referred me to playing that, and I said ok that's fine and we agreed on it.  So I went to the office and worked on the offense and formation.  I'm still learning, but I'm confident when I get the offense, I'll be stuck there.

On sideline work with Alosi when injured being tougher than regular workouts:
I don't think it's impossible for me to put on that weight, I just don't see that happening right now. I'm still pretty young.  It's hard for me to see myself getting up to 270, 280, but if the coaches say I can, I'm not going to doubt it.   So I want o play somewhere where I feel comfortable right now.  I feel really comfortable playing this position.  I played this position in high school, which is why they were so open to it.  If I came in as a defensive lineman and said "let me catch the ball" they would be no way, but they were comfortable with it.

On the transition:
It depends on how you look at it.  When talking to Coach Angus, when I did play defensive end, he said I could compete for a spot, which I didn't doubt at all, I probably could have competed for a spot.  It was just that I felt more comfortable at this position, because of right now, the size thing. I don't think it's an advantage playing offense or defense, I think it's more of me learning the plays to get on the field.  If I learn the plays, I'll compete to get playing time, so I don't think it's a size thing.

On what he needs to work on at Y:
Route-running, my hands, I have total confidence in my hands.  But my route-running, I definitely need to improve on.  Even today, just doing the pat-and-go, just running the routes, not full speed, but running up field, the coaches can critique me on the little things I need to fix, so that's how I know I need to work on my route running. 

On practice so far:
I was really happy.  The coaches are really helpful, especially the rest of the Y's, like Gray Mazzone and Darius Bell, they're telling me what to do and what to look out for.  I'm pretty sure it's intimidating, knowing I can play the position and run the same routes.  I'm sure I can get quicker and run better routes if I work on it.  They have some other options with me because I'm a little bigger, especially with blocking.

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