Video: UCLA Defensive Tackle Eddie Vanderdoes Talks Return From Injury

Aug. 11 -- UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes spoke about his return to the field, his expectations and goals, and more following Day 3 of Fall Camp...

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On being back:

Believe me, It feels great. It’s been a while.  I feel like a big relief inside of me, back doing what I love, and excitement, being out there with my teammates. No more what-ifs. 

On the injury:

It was about six minutes before halftime. I was jumping on the quarterback and I landed on my left leg. The quarterback asked if I was alright.  It didn’t hurt.  It seemed fine, we put on a brace, it kept popping.  First play after the half, I went in and the ref said ‘you better check the knee.’ I was in disbelief. 

On how tough it was:

It was tough, I didn’t expect. We played a great first game.  It just ended. I wasn’t prepared for it to be ended.  It was over.  Just like that.  

On if he thought about the NFL:

If things were right, then yeah. If I had a good season and felt I was ready, I would have made that jump.  But it wasn’t a decision I made going into the season. 

On if he talks to Kenny Clark:

I talked to him today.  He loves it.  He likes what they’re doing with him. He likes it and he’s showing me his tape. He’s developing more and his hands are quicker. We stay in touch. I tell him how I feel.  

On playing in the 4-3:

I love it. It’s what I played in high school. I played some nose today too.  We all love it up front. We have the two best pass rushers on the end in Deon and Takk.  We have Eli too.

On his weight:

I’m 320 and I feel good. I like my weight and where I’m at. I feel stronger. It makes my job easier when I’m stronger.

On his knee:

It feels good, I’m just getting used to this knee brace.  Im getting used to it.  It’s what they think is best. I’m going to do what is best for it. 

On watching last year:

It hurts a lot.  It hurts when you’re sitting on the couch and cant’ do anything about it. It hurts when you go to the bowl game and can’t do anything. I couldn’t do anything, not a single thing. That’s a big time dagger to the heart.

On if he took anything from being out:

It sounds cliché, you think every play is your last play now.  You don’t really think about that.  But now every rep matters. 

On if he got a redshirt:

Yeah, I took a medical redshirt, so Im a redshirt junior.

On the knee brace:

It doesn’t hurt, it’s just stiff. I have some scar tissue build up. It’s something you build up and fight through. By the time we’re done with fall camp, I’m out of the brace

On if he has any goals:

I don’t have any personally. If I do what is best for the team, I’ll have the stats.  If I do what I’m supposed to do, I’lll have that.

On team goals:

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Stop the run, get a rush and get to the passer.  It’s nice to know I’m going to help that and be a part of it.  I know all my guys will do our job.  Eli is a 5th year, Deon is a 4th year, Takk, Jayon. Our DB group is 4th or 5th. 


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