Ka'imi Fairbairn on Groza, UCLA Career

Dec. 15 -- Ka'imi Fairbairn talked about starting out slowly in his UCLA career before winning the Lou Groza Award...

Ka'imi Fairbairn talked with the media this week. 

On the ceremony:

It was special. My parents were there. I was nervous but it was a great experience.

On finishing his career after starting it with three missed PATs:

Coach Mora has been there for me since the beginning. Its been a long journey. I don’t regret anything. Learning from those experiences, it was a great learning experience. Even the big ones I’ve missed, I’ve learned from it.

On the NFL:

Coach Mora recruits guys who are looking to go to the next level.  I was fortunate enough to have Jeff Locke and Kevin McDermott my freshman year and to learn things.

On if there was a point it became realistic:

You take it kick by kick and not listen to the noise. Its a dream of mine and a goal.

On improving his NFL stock:

Its pretty simple for kickers, make the kick. There are always things to work on.  Watching NFL games and putting yourself in the situation, in that way, I think there is. It will be a long offseason working on my body

On adding distance:

I don’t think its been distance that’s been a problem, more connecting and accuracy.  Really focusing on keeping the same kick every time and not changing things because its a farther kick. That’s what changed over the years.  

On how far in practice:

With this year, I could kick it from 70.  No wind, depends on where you’re at.  Colorado last year, we hit from 67, but altitude is much higher there.  Here, I think 60 has been it. Coach Mora doesn’t really put us in that situation. My goal isn’t the long ones. The 60-yarder happened to have happened.  The long ones come as you go along.

On proudest of any kick:

My freshman year, the game winner against Arizona State, having the game on the line, drilling it and keeping things simple, it was a great feeling.

On what changed from his first kick mentally:

Not worrying about everything outside.  Keeping my thoughts simple and worrying about one things and zoom focus and doing what my job is.  

On being 2nd team all Pac-12 affecting his thoughts for Lou Groza:

I don’t think about that stuff.  Its media, I just want to work hard for my teammates. Awards come and go, but its a great honor.

On getting involved in kicking:

I played soccer from when I was young, then in high school, I took it seriously.  Freshman, sophomore year, I took it seriously.  I was strictly a kicker then.

On if he dreamed of the NFL:

You’re working towards that. Its a long process and a goal, but I hope to work there next year. It will be a long offseason. In high school, you watch it on TV and ask ‘can I do that’ then you hope its in the picture.

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