UCLA Linebacker Kenny Young Antsy to Kick Off Season

Aug. 19 -- UCLA middle linebacker Kenny Young spoke about the team's time in San Bernardino, his position battle and the importance of situational awareness...


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On his comfort level:

The weather feels great. It feels like we're back in Westwood. I'm from the South, whenever we have a breeze, it's a blessing. Today felt good. A lot of situational stuff.  A lot of things to work on.

On being in San Bernardino for just one week:

For me, it's just moving forward, taking that step.  When things get hard and uncomfortable, you don't want to practice hard today, coaches get on me, everyone gets irritated real fast, I take the next step on the things that will help me go forward.  That's the bottom line, the mental toughness, because the other aspects take care of themselves.

On if there is a lot of off-the-field bonding:

It happens immediately. You see these guys walking side by side, next to each other, having conversations in the ice tubs. That's part of our recovery thing after camp. Spending a lot of time together, getting our minds off football. Once we're done with practice, I don't want to think about football. Ask me how things are at home, my vacation.  That's what we have here, the team aspect. It feels great to have that great bond off the field.

On the fire in San Bernardino:

Honestly, that thing needed to slide over this way.  It was looking like, man, is it coming this way? But it didn't effect us. We got great work in.  I slept perfect.

On Lokeni Toailoa:

I think he's coming along.  The biggest thing for the coaches are teaching. Its a slow process. I've been through it. It was slow for me. I have to keep on coaching, you'll make the mistakes.  The biggest thing for him is to keep going forward and to take it a day at a time and eventually, he'll get the big picture.

On only being in San Bernardino for a week:

I'm glad it's only a week.  I've been here two weeks, it's hell here.  You get through the first week.  I asked the younger guys- 'can you imagine another week here?'  Once you get to two weeks in San Bernardino, you're like, man, I'm not going to make it to the season because you're so tired. That's the point of camp, to get you tired and uncomfortable. That's where you grow most.  The young guys, they don't get it. I think it's awesome to get a week here and then back to Westwood.  I can't speak for everybody, it was a long stretch.  I came up short a little bit. You really don't know how to manage it.  We have situational awareness and it's not as intense as it is, so you have to manage your energy. I think the way they did it this year was awesome, and I hope Coach Mora has that plan for next year.

On a 13-1 record in September under Jim Mora relating to San Bernardino:

Like I said, it's all mental toughness. If you go through something hard and are mentally conscious, don't feed yourself negative energy.  We had a guy named Trevor, who talked about mental approach. There will be injury, guys will fall down, you don't want to practice. One thing that helps is my mental approach.  But it helps, it helps with the team.  I think we'll go further than in previous years.

On prepping against their offense:

The heat here matches the offense.  Intensity.  Not no sideline to sideline running, but in your face, old school football. I love it and the defense loves it. It will help us against the big time teams we play. That shows the awareness of the coaches and the players. I feel good about it.  I'm glad it happened. I don't want to lose to Nebraska or a team like Nebraska, ever again.  It's time to beat Stanford this year. I'm glad we're making the changes we're making.

On the vibe around the team:

As far as changes, I think making us closer.  No one feels disappointed or upset. Maybe a little tired or irritated. But it's making us closer.

On if there is more excitement in camp:

Have you been to our night practices? They're intense.  Coach Mora is a great coach, he knows when to turn it up, when to have situational awareness.  Tonight it's going to be on. The guys are looking forward to it. It's our last night here, so why not go hard. It's fun, practice is really fun. As I got older and know the defense more, it's fun. College football is really fun.  Going out and tackling people, getting the defense ready, you're ready. Coach Mora, that's important to him. Have us play free and fun.

On situational awareness:

When the intensity is not that high, so special teams, or in favor of the offense or defense, when you work on things for a game that teams might not be aware of. Special teams situation where we don't practice onside kicks, but today we practice it, so we're ready for it.  That's why he's a great coach.  Things are working good, we're getting after it.

On the guy yelling on the hill:

Oh an, the guy over here? We were laughing at walkthroughs.  "Lets go, lets go, Rosen throw the ball." That's somebody's dad. No one will admit it though.  I asked who's dad it was, they all put their heads down and no one wants to admit it. I laugh at that every day.  Someone said it's Breland's dad.  I think they wait till everyone goes inside and then the player comes out and talks to his dad. But it's great, it helps with the energy.

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