UCLA running back Bolu Olorunfunmi talks from fall camp about starting his sophomore year.
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On his freshman year:
I had a shoulder injury the Arizona game and it slowed me down a little bit. After that it slowed me down a little. I got back into it at Stanford. But I was still a little nicked up. Freshman year is a crucial year, especially if you play as a true freshman.
On his own growth:
It’s big. Especially since I’ve gotten better from last year. I’ve made some strides, from running lower to catching the ball. It’s helped me a lot. I’ve put myself out there in the competition.
On catching passes:
It’s more of a focus thing. I had the hands, I just needed to focus more. I was out there and a little nervous. When I’m out there, and zoned in and kill off all the noise, I can do what I want.
On what he wants to improve the most:
Score touchdowns. Last year I had zero touchdowns, and I had five opportunities. I want to let these coaches know I can score.
On the competition:
It’s a friendly competition but we’re still working hard. We're helping up each other. If one person loses the job, we’re still going to work hard and root for each other. We still all love each other. At the end of the day, we compete.
On keeping that mindset as a competitor:
We have one main goal as a team- to play on December 2nd for the Pac-12 championship. If one is on the field, and I can help him and give him my energy, that’s my contributing factor. He can do the same thing for me. It’s also physical ability. Mental, knowing what to do. Catching blitzes. That aspect is also important.
On if it’s tough to platoon:
I don’t think so. I feel like it’s a spark. We tell ourselves we’re the best unit on the field. We’re always fired up. Once we get in there, we start rolling.
On what he brings:
I feel like I bring more explosiveness and a lot more power, but I feel like we all run with more power. We all have positivity. I don’t think one is better than the other. We all help each other in some ways and it's a good thing.
On the new offense:
I love it. Especially having fullbacks like Cam Griffin and Ainuu (Taua). They’re some savages. They kill. It makes a big difference. I'm happy to have them, I’m glad Coach (Kennedy) Polamalu put that in.
On the difference with Polamalu being the offensive coordinator:
It’s a little difference because he has to focus on everything on offense. The way he teaches us, he says "I taught you guys everything'. If he sees some things we’re doing wrong, he’ll correct us, but he has a lot of confidence in us.
On what his presence feels like:
If I’m on the field and I pick up a blitz, it’s like watching film, you’re thinking, Coach P is watching you. That’s what he means with his presence. He teaches us so hard to do those things. Its disappointing if we don’t do it right. He’ll let you know. After practice, he’ll let you know.
On what he’ll do when he gets his first touchdown:
I haven’t thought about it, but mostly the ways I could score. It was a disappointing last year. But I’m hoping to at Texas A&M.
On if he feels he’s exceeded his expectations:
I wouldn’t say I exceeded my expectations, because I hold myself to a higher standard. Working with Nate Starks and Soso (Jamabo) makes me better. Having guys like them helps my mindset. It doesn’t matter, as long as you go out and do the play, it will help. That’s what I feel like I’m here for.null