Video: Takkarist McKinley Breaking Through

Apr. 22 -- UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley spoke with reporters about his progression, the new defensive front and more...

UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley broke down his advancement as a pass rusher, a new position and more Thursday.

If you can't view the video above, try the version below:

Opening statement:

I’m just here so I won’t get fined.

On spring:

Spring is going real good, now that we’ve switched to a 4-3. At first, I didn’t know how I’d feel about it, but now the defense feels like its built around me.  Now I line up in space, and do what I’ve been doing my whole life. This year will be a nice one.

On if he’s ready for success:

We lost Kenny Clark, but everyone is getting better every day.  To stop the run, we couldn’t stop the run last year, so it’s a big emphasis on stopping the run in 2k16.  We have a lot of depth this year, especially when the freshman coming in. Even without the freshman, we still have me, Deon, Keisean. It’s going to be a nice season, a real nice season.

On when he realized this defense could work really well:

Sitting in the office with Coach Bradley and Coach Angus.  Being inside wasn’t really for me, in high school, i ran a 10.5, so my thing is speed.  My speed and quickness, I can show it.  I don’t know how many sacks we had, but it wasn’t too good. We have a huge emphasis on stopping the run.  This drill we just did, in my mind, all that is in my mind is the Washington State game and we couldn’t get to the quarterback and didn’t win it.  Me, Keisean and Deon, our goal is to get to the quarterback.  Me and Deon think we can lead the Pac-12 in sacks. Our goal is to lead the Pac-12 and be on top of the nation in sacks.

On his weight:

255 but I’m trying to be 265 by the beginning of the season. I want to remain 255 right now. Every time Tom Bradley sees me, he asks where I’m at. I want to get bigger.

On how that changes his offseason:

It’s huge, because I don’t have to worry about huge guards coming down on me. I’m better in space. At JC, I led the state in sacks.  Now, being a 6tech, I can play on tackles, give them inside moves, outside moves. Its like being built around me.  I can go inside, outside.  Speed is a killer and i feel like I have speed.  Also, my bacon sandwiches didn’t work with KC.  It is what it is.


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