UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley On Heading Back Home

Nov. 24 -- UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley spoke about returning back to the Bay Area this weekend, his draft stock and more...

If you can't view the video above, try the version below:

Opening statement:

This was the last practice of my UCLA career. Thank you Jesus.

On how that feels:

Bittersweet. Being here for three years, it went by so fast. I'm going to miss this place. We have one more game left, but it's a bittersweet feeling.

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On the potential of a bowl game:

We just focus on Cal to be honest with you. Whatever happens after that happens. Right now, our main focus is to win, if we go to a bowl, we go to a bowl.

On his last game at the Rose Bowl last weekend:

It was pretty emotional. The Rose Bowl is a special place. To go out there and run out one last time, the crowd just cheering for you and seeing your family, it's real emotional. We didn't come away with a victory but I enjoyed these three years.

On UCLA being on the shady side:

I honestly didn't pay too much attention to it. I didn't realize the sun was on us. It didn't really affect me at all.

On Sonny Dykes and the Cal staff:

I don't know what he said, but I'm pretty sure it was highly.  I don't know. I don't really have nothing to say about that.

On knowing he almost played at Cal:

For me it's going back home, all my family and friends, it's seeing me one more time. So the people who couldn't come to L.A., they can see me in Berkeley. To get to play one last time in the Bay Area is a blessing. Everyone in my family can see me play. 

On his emotions going back to the Bay:

I have to have it under control on Saturday. I'm going to be pretty pumped playing against Cal in my last and final game. But you can't do too much. You have to be under control and go out there and ball out.

On how many family members will be there:

It's going to be a lot. Could be 30, 40, 50, I don't know.

On how he's gotten that many tickets:

You just have to beg and trade (teammates). I've been on it since week one. I have plenty of tickets.

On who he's closest with at Cal:

Nobody.  I got my family right here at UCLA.

On who gave him tickets on his team:

Everybody. Some gave me all four tickets, some gave me two. It all depends. But I got all my tickets.

On assessing the season:

I set goals and I wanted to lead the nation in sacks. I have to have a great game against Cal to get that. I wanted to get to 15 sacks and I'm at 10 right now. I have to get five, six sacks. Anything is possible. I feel I had a pretty good season. I wouldn't be here without my teammates, scout team, O-Line. They got us ready this year. I wish we could have had a better year winning games. Things happen. You win some, you lose some.

On if he wishes he had one more season:

My four years is up. My time is done.

On if he's given thought to preparation for the combine and the offseason:

I have no idea yet. I have one more game left. I'll get some rest and we'll see what happens after that. I haven't really thought about the offseason yet. Just finishing the season.

On rising on draft boards:

It's on social media, people tag me on Twitter or Instagram. All that mock stuff doesn't matter, especially the outside stuff. All that matters is the one team that picks you. It all depends on the GM and the owners.  It's good people say I'll go first round but I don't really pay attention to that.

On his favorite team being the Carolina Panthers and potentially playing against them:

Ha, yeah, I have to cool down a little bit. It breaks my heart.  But my uncle always asks, 'how would you feel about tackling Cam Newton?' I tell him, 'I couldn't do it.' I mean, of course I will.  I'll let him score. Nah, I'm just messing with you, I wouldn't do that.


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