AUDIO: Jim Mora Teleconference

Jim Mora talked about Myles Jack's role on the team, what the linebacker situation looks like, and Jordan Zumwalt's draft status...


***JIM MORA TELECONFERENCE***

On Myles Jack's role on offense:
I think it's way to early to answer that. I don't plan on minimizing that. He's a really good football player and we want to get the ball to him as many ways as we can but we don't want to ever take away what he means to our defense because he's a truly special linebacker. I didn't play him at all on defense (against Arizona State), he only played offense. We'll never do that again.

On the linebacker situation:
We're excited about the guys that are here. Myles is a heck of a player, Eric Kendricks is a two-year returning starter and a great football player. We have some younger guys who have stepped up, Kenny Orjioke, Aaron Wallace, Deon Hollins. A young man named Isaac Savaiinaea. Inside, Cameron Judge. We're bringing in some good young players, Kenny Young from Louisiana and Zach Whitley from Texas that we think will be an impact player. As well as a young man from L.A. named Dwight Williams. We're excited about our linebacking group and I think we have depth and talent.

On if the program is where he wants it to be:
No and I never want it to be. Once you start feeling like that, you're going in the wrong direction. It's a work in progress and it will always be a work in progress. There is a lot more to achieve. We're on the right track.

On what's left to achieve:
A lot. I mean, we need to continue to grow this culture we're trying to create. We need to win Pac-12 championships and Rose Bowls. We need to be in the national title picture. We need to continue to graduate our student-athletes. We've really just gotten started. It's two years. That's nothing. I hope over the next 10-15 years or however long I'm fortunate enough to stay here, can really grow into something special in many, many ways.

On what he says to an NFL target with uncertainty:
I think it can cause a lot of anxiety for a guy like Jordan Zumwalt. I have no feel for where he's going to go. I saw him yesterday. I think the important thing for any of these guys is getting a chance. He'll get a chance and it's what you do with that opportunity. I think all of our guys are going to compete really well and have a chance to make a roster. So whether you go in the first round or the seventh round, the fact is you're one of the very few college football players that the NFL deemed good enough to draft. But it's only the beginning. The beginning of the journey and it's up to you what you make of it.

On if there is anything in Jordan Zumwalt's makeup that makes him intriguing:
Not more than college. I think he was a great college football player. I only got to coach him two years, but it was fun to be around him. He has the potential to be a good NFL player. His versatility, I think that he could be a guy in a 3-4 can play inside or outside and a 4-3 scheme can play a Sam linebacker or Will linebacker. I think he has the makeup to be an excellent special teams player. Jordan has had a long time goal of playing in the NFL and I think he'll be focused on it and do everything he can to make sure he's at his best. I'm excited for all of them who've had this goal since they were a little boy of making it to the NFL.

On if draftable players means well for the program:
Yeah, it certainly gives us exposure and opens peoples eyes to whats happening around here. We just have to continue to make sure we're bringing athletes into this program and helping them as students and as people. Helping them realize their dreams, whether it's on the field or off the field. We've been lucky the past couple of years of having guys come through here and go to the NFL and that trend will continue.

On Simon Goines:
He's doing good. He's fine.

On redshirt freshmen that stood out this spring:
Boy, you're putting me on the spot. Eli Ankou stood out to me. We didn't redshirt a lot of freshmen. Poasi Moala, an offensive tackle, stood out to me. Kenny Lacy, an offensive tackle, stood out to me. Eldridge Massington, a receiver, stood out to me. Trying to think of our other redshirt freshmen, there weren't a whole lot. There were only a few. Most of our guys that were freshmen played.

On if there are any important issues he'd like to discuss with the Pac-12 coaches at the meetings:
No. I'm there to listen and to absorb. I worry about one thing, UCLA football. I said before, I'm not smart enough to handle all that. My mental plate gets full. I worry about UCLA football.

On the SEC not playing a nine-game schedule:
I would like to see everyone operating on the same set of rules, regulations. I think the Pac-12 is an incredibly competitive conference. I look at the teams that make up this conference, I think anybody can beat anybody any given week and I think the same can be said about the SEC. And yet, we play nine games against each other and I like that. I think we like it as a conference and we take pride in that. We're interetsed in competing against the best week in and week out. We try not to schedule too many patsies.

On if a softer schedule helps getting into the playoff:
Well that's one of my goals (getting to the playoff). But one of my goals is creating a competitive environment for my players to excel in. They don't want to go out and play teams that people expect them to walk over. These kids, one of the things that has helped them get to the level they're at in life is their extreme competitiveness so they want to play great competition, which brings out the best in all of us. So yeah, one of the goals is to get to the national championship, but another is to teach these guys how to overcome and how to compete and how to set goals and how to exist in extreme environments and extreme situations. You don't just focus on being national champions, college is more than just that.


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