QB Mike Fafaul on Staying Course at UCLA

Aug. 22 -- The #1 back-up quarterback, fifth-year senior Mike Fafaul, talks about choosing to stay at UCLA and not use the graduate transfer exemption, and his dynamic with Josh Rosen...

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On if this is his first interview session at UCLA:

You interviewed me once before, when T.J. Millweard left four years ago. This is the first time in four years.

On sticking it out at UCLA through five years:

I graduated in the spring. I just wanted to finish what I've started. I don't like quitting. I wanted to follow through. I had a lot of options at the end of the year, but I wanted to stick it out.

On the new offense:

It puts a lot more on the quarterback and gives me more control out there and I like that a lot and try to be more of a cerebral quarterback like Josh and take what the defense gives me. I felt really comfortable being out there.

On where he's improved since spring:

My accuracy the most. I think back in the old offense, I was inconsistent at times and I feel more consistent this fall.

On if the offense makes him more consistent:

Well Tui rides us out there, our quarterbacks coach and he makes sure we're perfect. He's been a big part of my success and helped me come bring it every single day.

On where Josh Rosen has grown must:

His maturity. He came in as a freshman and now he's really taken advantage of his job and what he's had to do.

On if there were specifics with his maturation:

About a week or two ago, he got up and spoke in front of the team and said he's willing to do what it takes and be there for anyone who needs help and shown a lot of strides that he's grown up the past two years.

On if his maturation has helped other parts of the team:

Yeah, everybody looks up to him and tries to meet that standard because you have a guy who's at the pinnacle at that spot right now, and guys chase that. When you see him making throws like he does and tearing up the defense, it raises everyone else's standard.

On if he feels he's pushing Rosen:

I'm trying to. I'm trying to do the best I can. I'm trying to go out and help our team the best I can.

On what kind of work he did in the offseason:

I was out here pretty much every day in the winter, spring and summer, throwing with Eldridge and Ishmael and those guys, trying to prepare.  I spent a lot of time with Coach Tui and going through the playbook and that helped a lot. Everything feels slower now.

On the receiver group:

I think they're fantastic. Having Ishmael on the offensive side of the ball has been huge. They're all playing phenomenal.

On if they'll be able to step up:

Absolutely. We don't have one Jordan Payton this year, we have like five guys. That's pretty exciting from an offensive standpoint.

On the young quarterbacks:

It's always hard for a freshman to come in and adjust to the college life, but I think they've done a phenomenal job. They come to work every day, same as me and Josh. They've done a great job.

On if he's the most comfortable he's been at UCLA:

Absolutely, I think it is. I've taken the mindset to do everything for the team.

On Theo Howard:

Theo is unbelievable. He's so explosive and quick. He had that little hiccup at the beginning with his hamstring, but other than that, he's been phenomenal.


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