UCLA's Kenny Orjioke on Return from ACL

Aug. 12 -- The redshirt junior linebacker, Kenny Orjioke, talks about being able to practice for the first time since he suffered an ACL, getting back to full speed and playing with the knee brace...

Kenny Orjioke talked Wednesday after practice:

On not having a brace:
Practice is over so I took it off. I don't really think about it. I'm not really worried about it.

On how he feels:
Right now, I feel like my first step is as fast as it was. I've only practiced three times since the injury.

On when the brace might come off:
I don't really ask. I try not to think about that. I try to progress every day.

On putting his hand down:
I do that because I can get off the ball faster, it hasn't been much of a difference.

On getting back from the injury:
I don't know if any of you have had knee surgery, but the first month for me personally was horrible. Always getting positive reinforcement from my teammates. I had a good talk with Eric Kendricks prior to his senior season when he had ankle surgery, there were days he didn't think he could play. When you get out there and play football, I've been her three years, this is my fourth year. Its muscle memory with the pads.

On getting back to where he was:
Definitely, yeah.

On spring practice:
Spring I wanted to get out there, hear the music, hear Coach Mora, it pushed me a little bit. I've been focused on getting back on the field.

On how he'll be used in new scheme:
I hear the plays, and I go out and play.

On if he's just ecstatic to be out there:

On if he remembered a day when he was fully ready:
After surgery. My whole rationale was if I get injured again, I'd lose a redshirt year. I'm now 21 as a junior. The pain obviously is in your head, but being scared it will happen, it wasn't.

On if he ever thought about transferring:
No, I love UCLA. I love L.A. When you're getting recruited, they say go to a school that if you ever get injured you see yourself being at, and I found that at UCLA. This may sound like a pitch, but I dont know why any recruit getting recruited by UCLA goes anywhere else. I love UCLA and I love being a Bruin.

On if he has any goals:
Every day, my goal every day is to come out with a positive mindset and let things fall where they may.

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