VIDEO: Benenoch With 1st String

Freshman right guard Caleb Benenoch talks about playing with the first string in practice and the biggest difference between LA and Texas...

Caleb Benenoch talks about being the first string right guard:

On being in the starting lineup early:
A lot of fun, a lot of hard work. I made a huge, huge jump from yesterday. The game's starting to slow down a little bit. I'm reacting more than I'm thinking and it's going good.

On the mental side of the game:
Right now I'm doing pretty good. We've installed a lot of stuff and I'm picking it up pretty good. The struggles I had yesterday when I was with the 1's is I was thinking too much and I wasn't able to react to what the defensive line is doing. And as fast as our offense moves, you have to be ready to go, so I was working on that today, studying the plays and it gets you better every day.

On what Adrian Klemm's advice was:
He told me to not think like a freshman. Don't be a freshman. Go out there and act like you belong there and play hard there and that's what I did. I didn't think like i was playing with the older guys, I thought, 'I'm playing football' and I got back to what I do best so it was good today.

On what his biggest area for improvement is:
Technique. Shooting my hands faster, rolling my hips. These guys are faster than the guys in high school. So you have to roll your hips and come with it every single play. That's the difference between here and high school. In high school, yuou could take a play off and muscle a guy because you're that more physically dominant, but here you can't do that, you have to come with it every play, and that's what I'm working on.

On going against the defensive line:
I played with talented guys in high school, but all across the board, these guys are more talented. It's a lot of fun and it's a lot of work, but they help you through it. If they knock your ass on the ground, they're going to pick you up and tell you 'you did this wrong, so fix this' and if I knock their ass on the ground, they'll tell me 'good job.' And they've all been really helpful and know that if I success, we'll succeed as a team.

On playing guard and not tackle:
That's what it looks like right now.

On the difference between Los Angeles and Texas:
It's polar opposites. It's a lot different. The culture, the atmosphere. But change is good. I think the difference has helped me grow up, so that's been a lot of fun. The biggest difference, I'd have to say the food. It was a struggle for me to find sweet tea out here. No one likes sweet tea out here. That was the toughest thing, I had sweet tea withdrawals.

On what attracted him to UCLA:
I liked the idea of being coached by people who had been at the next level and what it takes to succeed at the next level. That's what brought me here, was the fact, I could be out here competing with the 1s on day two as a freshman, which is unheard of. And two, being coached by Coach Klemm, who played in the league, who's a good coach, and Coach Mora, so it was the coaching staff and what they bring to the table.

On Simon Goines helping him:
He told me to stay focused and work hard, and come with it every play. I've been getting a lot of mentoring from Jake Brendel and Xavier Su'a-Filo, because we play so close together, but Simon has been my advice guy, especially when I first moved in here, the difference between people and what I'm going to see. I've been rooming with Kenny Lacy during the summer and John Lopez in the fall, switch it up a little bit.

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