Page: "Defense is Fast"

He made first-team freshman All-American, and now sophomore safety <b>Jarrad Page</b> is looking to build on his first year accomplishments. He talks about turning down a baseball contract, the off-season, this year's secondary and the upcoming season...

After a stellar freshman year that ended with a first-team treshman All-American selection and a interception for a touchdown in the Las Vegas Bowl, Jarrad Page comes into his sophomore season looking like a wily veteran.

BRO: Last year you came to camp with the possibility of playing professional baseball still hanging over you, but you had a great camp and that translated during the year. What's been the difference from last camp to this year's camp?

Page: "Confidence. I learned a lot last year and worked hard during the off-season but now I am more comfortable with the defense, and am more confident in my decisions."

BRO: Some people are touting you and Ben Emanuel as the best safety tandem at UCLA since the ‘80s. What's that do for your game?

Page: "It's a good feeling. I love playing with Ben. He is like an older brother to me. He really helped me last year, and I saw a lot of what he did. He played strong safety before me so he showed me some things to do. We don't let the comparisons get to our head. We still got a couple more years to do some damage."

BRO: You were drafted pretty high last year. Does the idea of leaving $750,000 on the table ever bother you, and do you miss the baseball?

Page: "Well, that is a lot of money. And every time I wish I had a car, or some extra food, I think about it, but no, it's been good for me. I am growing a lot, and I don't know if I had done that had I signed. I played baseball this year, but redshirted because of my shoulder, and I couldn't throw, but (UCLA head baseball) coach (Garry) Adams tells me he wants me at third base next year. It worked out good for me to not play, so I can learn Coach Kerr's defense."

BRO: This defense could be the best UCLA has had in a while. You'll start for the second straight year. Is the defense worthy of the hype?

Page: "Definitely. We have some great players. Our secondary has been together for a few years now, and we are all pretty good athletes. Our line is going to be putting pressure on the quarterbacks, so our job could be easier. This defense is fast."

BRO: You were a Freshman All-American, started 10 games, had a bunch of tackles, a couple of picks, then you ended the year with an awesome game in the Las Vegas Bowl, where you had that pick for a touchdown. Did you take that into the off-season?

Page: "Last year was real good for me. We ended it as a team, on a good night, and that touchdown was cool because it was my first one in college, and it was on National TV and on ESPN that night in their highlights, so all my friends were calling me during Christmas break and talking to me about it. It was a good feeling to end the year like that, and it just made me want to get out there and play some more."

BRO: What's been the difference in attitude between last year and this year?

Page: "We really know what we are doing. Coach Kerr is real good and so is Coach DeLoach. We have a bunch of good players, the talent was there, but our attitude needed better. Now we have a better attitude, and are a lot more focused."

BRO: Did you expect to play as much as you did as a freshman?

Page: "I just wanted to come in and make the 2-deep. Then at camp, I was getting the defense pretty quickly and Ben was showing me a lot. When they moved Matt (Ware), I knew it could be my chance to start, and it all worked out pretty good. Our secondary was real young last year, and we are only more experienced this season."

BRO: Colorado beat you guys up last year, plain and simple. They punished you, but now you guys have a chance to pay them back…

Page: "Oh yeah, we remember what they did. It was bad and we were embarrassed. We have had this game marked down for a long time."


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