VIDEO: Whitley on Coming into Spring

The linebacker who should be a high school senior, Zach Whitley, talks about getting up to speed, literally...

Zach Whitley, the freshman linebacker, talked about coming in early to college for his first spring practice.

On his first week of spring:
It wasn't what I expected. It was hard and I worked every day. My first day, I think I did pretty good. Tuesday, all the same. I got better each day up until Saturday. Everything is even faster, the tempo is faster. College is totally different from high school. You have to know your assignment. I would say that the biggest thing in college is knowing what you have to do and if you know what you do, you'll be comfortable and play really fast. That's the biggest thing to me.

On having the spring to learn that:
I'm truly blessed to be here this spring, because if I was to come here during fall, it would be hard, so I'm blessed to be here.

On preparing for outside or inside:
I'm just preparing to being on the field. It doesn't really matter. The best position is on the field.

On what the biggest surprise to him is:
The tempo. It was so fast. I was creased, but hey, that's part of college football. Right back at it on Monday.

On if he feels he knows his assignments:
I don't have everything, but I'm getting the concept of what I have to do. It's a learning process.

On any physical changes:
A lot of changes. I'm moving way faster. My cuts are sharper. I'm more explosive. Just me as a person, school as well. It's a big commitment. I'm speaking louder, I'm meeting people, I'm networking. I feel like this is a great thing for me and only getting better.

On Najee Toran's intensity:
That's how it is back at home. It was always that way. He's getting better and I'm getting better. If he has to put me on my butt everyday and I have to put him on his butt every day, that's how it will be. We're helping each other when it comes to the season.

On if UCLA has been a good transition for him:
I think it's a true blessing. My grades are outstanding. I'm just so happy to be here. I can't even think of the right words to say. It's a true blessing.

On how much the linebacker coaches have helped:
They've helped me a lot. We've had meetings and I'm going every day and learning the playbook.

On comparisons to Myles Jack:
Honestly, I don't see myself as good as Myles He's totally different. Myles is what a linebacker wants to be. He's got it all. Covering, get downhill. He's a great speaker, a great leader. I look up to him. He's a great person.

On Myles Jack saying Whitley would be better than him:
He said that? I don't know about all that. That's a good mindset to have. It's great having him out here and having someone to look next to. He's tired, and we're tired, but he pushes through. It's good to have that. He's always pushing me. It's a true blessing.


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