UCLA DL Jacob Tuioti-Mariner Embraces Position Change

Apr. 7 -- A change to a new defensive front has caused Jacob Tuioti-Mariner to switch positions, but the rising junior is excited for the challenge...

UCLA defensive lineman Jacob Tuioti-Mariner has made his transition to the interior look rather seamless through a third of spring practice, and the rising junior sounded just as comfortable.

Tuioti-Mariner spoke to reporters Wednesday about the change in the defensive front, his adjustment and more. Find the video interview below:

On spring:

Knowing that I went inside, Im trying to get used to the position but I hope I’m progressing. There are days that aren’t your days but you make the most of them.

On the biggest change:

Knowing there are guys on both sides of you. A lot more movement on both sides. Attacking double blocks, that’s the biggest thing, being aware of the fast movement going on.

On what he’s had to change most:

My physicality. The inside brings a lot of physicality.  Handling two guys at one time is difficult but that’s what football is all about.

On the decision to move inside:

Honestly, we talked to Coach Angus and he saw me as a better pass rusher inside, and having a better ability to attack the quarterback inside. I’m focusing on my run stopping.  Trying to handle that.

On the new offense:

It does bring out your physical awareness and brings out the dog in you. The offense has changed in a positive way.  

On the fullback:

We have Ainuu back there and he used to be on the D-Line now he’s over there talking smack.

On their battles against the offensive line:

The offensive line is a great unit, its play calling, everything the defense is trying to do. The offensive line is just like us, trying to get used to each other. 

On feedback on his move:

It could go both ways.  Since its a new position, you have positive reviews and negative reviews. Right now, I’m only accepting the negative reviews.  I think I’m getting more negative reviews, because that’s all I’m accepting.

On what he needs to improve personally:

The double work.  The 600 pounds again. I definitely need to work on that. By end of the spring I hope to have it down.  Its more trying to gain ground forward. Trying to get in the backfield as much as possible. Its a difficult process, but most guys in the NFL do it.  Its not impossible.

On pass rushing inside being more natural:

I feel like it does. In the inside, I’m more excited to pass rush. I have more moves inside.


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