UCLA Kicker J.J. Molson In Tune With Mental Aspect

UCLA true freshman place kicker J.J. Molson spoke about his preparations for Texas A&M, his progress in fall camp and more Wednesday...


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On camp so far:

It has been fun. Training camp has been tough, going to San Bernardino in that heat. It's been a grind. But I've been getting comfortable with Mike (Fafaul) and Johnny (Den Bleyker) and I think we're in a good spot right now and looking forward to our game next weekend.

On if coming in with all freshman specialists has been helpful:

Yeah, I think we're all supportive and we all hang out together. It's definitely a lot more of a bonding group than say if the starting kicker was a senior, the punter was a freshman. We're all in this together. We all know our situation and know our role and we're all supportive. 

On what he anticipates his role:

So far, I think I'm taking the number one reps for field goals and kickoffs. We'll see how that goes.

On conversations with Kai'mi Fairbairn:

I haven't talked to him especially, I've talked to (Tampa Bay Bucs kicker) Roberto Aguayo, on how he's doing and his pregame routine. We also have Trevor Moewad, who worked with Alabama and Florida State, and I've been speaking to him and he's a great mentor to me about figuring out how to approach Texas A&M and I think we've found our mental approach and it's been a great three weeks.

On having a picture of Kyle Field on his wallpaper:

That was just mentally to get used to seeing that every day, so that way when I get there, it won't be too strange. It's a cool stadium and a cool background as well. Its a desktop picture, the whole stadium. As a kicker, the visual component to the game is so important. Before kicks, you want to visualize kicks, so having that as my background, it allows me to focus. Doing my homework, subconsciously I'm thinking of it so when I get on the field, I'll be comfortable, I'll know what the stands, the field, the goal posts look like.

On if he's watched kicks in Kyle Field:

I would say I would watch (former Texas kicker) Justin Tucker's kick against Texas A&M, when they were down by 2, the 40-yarder, over 150 times. 150 times. So I mean, for me, going into that game, I know it could be very close and I could be prepared for anything.

On replacing Fairbairn:

Me and Trevor say that pressure is good. If you have pressure, people have expectations and that's a benefit to you and people know you have talents. If you take that in and look in a positive way, some people get nervous, but athletes thrive on that. As an athlete, you want to have people watching, you want to have that game winning shot, that game winning field goal.  I like it.

On how many game-winners he had:

I didn't have any game winners, but I had a couple late fourth quarter game kicks and another missed one. Me and Trevor, we figured out how to approach every kick and I found a way to relax by joking with my teammates on the sidelines. Like golf, when I'm with friends, joking around at the teebox, I've done it so many times, all I have to think about is keep my head down and follow through. When I'm on the sidelines, I'm cracking jokes, not even talking about football. With Rip, I'm saying, 'what are we doing tonight, what are you going to eat for dinner.' It's a way for me to relax. We talk about anything.

On his longest kick:

In a game, it was 48-yard, but 65-yards in practice.  I'm not punting here, but I've gone over 70. The most important thing with A&M, is to be on point with the hang time.  That's going to be important.

On the importance of Trevor Moewad:

It's helped me, you have no idea how much it's helped me. Coming into camp, I was figuring out how to approach a kick. I didn't really figure out, since I'm so new to kicking, I only really started kicking last year.  I was mostly a DB, so I never had a kicking coach. I didn't know how to approach a kick mentally. I played other sports, but didn't know how to process. With Trevor, we talked with ex-kickers form Florida State on the phone and we found my process and my personality and how to adjust it to my kicking.  Not thinking about the kick too much.  When you get out there, like Usain Bolt, you see him.  When he gets up to his stance, he's fully zoned in, but he likes to feel the aroma and enthusiasm of the crowd and it will be like that at Texas A&M.

On the biggest crowd he's kicked in front of:

Over 1,000. It's totally going to be huge but I'm so excited for it and not nervous at all. I feel very prepared. It's a great job as a unit, so going into this game I'm totally confident.

On if he'll change his wallpaper weekly:

Yeah, probably, at the start of each week.  It will help. It's those little things that make a huge difference. I'm very excited for the season.

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