VIDEO: McKinley on Development

Apr. 10 -- Sophomore defensive end Takkarist McKinley talks about his weight gain and being more versatile...

Takkarist McKinley:

On getting a spring practice:
Its a big difference. Last year I had to jump right in and learn the playbooks. Now, we have meetings in the morning and afternoon and we have time to go over the playbook.

On his comfort level:
I feel a lot better. Owa is gone, and I'm starting right now, but me and Jacob are trying to get better together. Trying to watch film and build the team up.

On what's changed with Tom Bradley:
Its stil the same with Coach Bradley. He added a few things, but its the same. Its replacing Owa, who was here for five years, replacing that position.

On his size:
I'm at 245, 243 right now. Coach Brick wanted me at 245 and Coach Bradley wants me at 255, so I have to eat, eat, eat.

On why he moved to defensive end:
I just play whatever the coaches tell me to play. If they want me to gain weight, I'll gain weight, if they want me to slim down, I'll play outside linebacker. In the winter with Coach Alosi, we worked with strength and speed. I still go to the track field to do some sprints and stretches and try to keep my speed.

On learning on the fly last fall:
That was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. The competition. Everybody is better. JC everyone is grinding, but here there is a whole different level, the game is faster, the O-Line is bigger. You have to actually do the plays. High school and JC you can freestyle, here you have to do your assignment. I have now and the summer to get better.

On how its helped him:
Now I know where I line up, the plays, what gap I have. When I first got here, I was looking at Kenny, Eddie and Owa, 'what should I do' but now I know.

On what Owa did that he needs to replicate:
He was a tremendous run stopper. So me, I want to work on my run stopping, especially against Simon. Its hard for me to win that battle. If I use that technique, Owa used a lot of technique, if I use that technique though.

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