Bolu Olorunfunmi talked after Monday's practice.
On how spring practice is going so far
It’s been a good feeling. Having DeShaun as our running backs coach, it’s a great feeling having him here. It’s like being home, like high school days – just playing the game of football. It’s been a great feeling so far, we’re working every day.
On how Deshaun Foster’s approach to RBs is different
The only difference I’d say is that he’s kind of letting us play our own style, and incorporating our styles with his coaching. So far it’s been a great result so far and I kind of like it. I feel more confident.
On bouncing back from last season
After the last game, it was very discouraging to go through a season like that. But a switch kind of turned on (after the season), like, ‘we have to get better.’ We’re all motivated, we just want to get better.
On using last season as fuel for offseason workouts
Oh yeah. Winter, we had a great winter. As a team, we were out here every day. I don’t think anybody has missed a game. You could tell that we just wanted to do better and that we just wanted to make changes.
How much have you watched film of last year during the offseason?
Honestly we just put that in the archives. We don’t want to look at that anymore. We know what happened and we know what we need to change. Right now we’re trying to work on something new and build something better.
What was your reaction to hearing that coach Foster would be coming back to UCLA?
Oh I was happy. I was ecstatic. He recruited me here, he’s probably the reason why I’m here. It’s a great feeling to have him back and a great feeling to have him coaching me, especially the kind of experience he has in the NFL and his days here – he’s a great Bruin. It’s good to have a Bruin that’s a legend to teach us. I feel fortunate and very happy to have him as my coach.
On watching old tape from DeShaun Foster’s playing days
Oh yeah, I’ve seen high school film of him; I know he holds the California state record for rushing, so I know a lot about him. I don’t want to sound like fanboy, but I know a lot about him.
On potentially writing DeShaun Foster’s biography
Ey, if he wants me to, I’m a pretty good writer too.
On how this offense is different in its running concepts this year
I would say the only difference is we’re more of a outside run team. But other than that it’s kind of the same concepts. We still have our inside zone, we still have our gaps. Like coach Fisch said, it’s ‘an offense.’ It’s up to us to run the ball and it’s up to us to execute the play. At the end of the day, a play is a play, but the player has to execute it.
On being more comfortable in the new system
I’m kind of more comfortable. It’s not more pressure on me. Especially as a junior now, I’m into the system. I’m more calm. It’s a good feeling.
On whether the running back rotation should be narrowed down or not
It's up to the coaches and whatever they want. Right now, I’m just out here every day, just working really hard, me and my running backs. Whoever they choose, whatever the play is, we’ll always be rooting them on and we’ll always be on the field running hard. I think we have a lot of tremendous running backs, from the sophomores to senior Nate Starks. I think we’re all capable.
What’s the biggest thing you can take from last year’s disappointment in the run game?
Honestly, from last year, I would just use it as a chip on our shoulder. We were last in the nation; no one wants to be last in anything. So we just use it as a chip on our shoulder. We don’t talk about it, we don’t mention it, we just know we have to get better. Every day, we have to get one percent better, and that’s what we’re doing right now.
On the ‘one percent better’ mantra
Honestly, it just kind of popped up on its own and I just started using it too, just getting one percent better. The only person you need to beat out is the person you were the day before. So I try to live by that.