Interview: Kyle Morgan

The JC transfer defensive end, <b>Kyle Morgan</b>, comes to UCLA with some experience at a D-1 program, originally going to Miami out of high school. He talks about coming to UCLA and his roll on the team...

Tell me about your recruiting process a bit. What schools did you visit?

"UCLA, Alabama, Illinois, Louisville and Texas A&M."

Why'd you pick UCLA?

It came down to UCLA and Alabama. I was looking at a lot of things, but mostly depth, and where I had the most potential playing time. I think UCLA needed me a little more than Alabama. So, I thought it was the best opportunity."

How's school been since you enrolled in December?

"It's been allright. I'm trying to get used to the quarter system. I've been on the semester system since I was out of high school. Mid-terms kind of snuck up on me last quarter. But I'll be ready this quarter."

Overall how do you like the experience at UCLA?

"I like it. I've been getting more comfortable, working hard. But also getting out a little bit and seeing the sights. I'm originally from San Francisco and I've been here before, so it's not a whole new experience. Just now I'm actually seeing the whole thing, the real city. Usually, I'd just come down here and see a few things, like Disneyland. But now I'm actually seeing the city."

How has practice gone so far?

‘It's going good. I feel good out here. I'm just trying to stay healthy. I'm getting the system down. They really haven't put in to much yet, just the base defense and a couple of stunts. This week we're going to start putting it in, so this is when it will really start happening. Overall, I'm allright with how I'm doing. There is always room for improvement. I could probably improve everything. You're never perfect. My strength is probably pass rushing. Even though I think I'm pretty good against the run, too."

You prefer the left side?

"It really doesn't matter. At the JC I played both so I got used to both, left and right side. At the JC I played inside, too."

With two years to play two, what are your expectations while you're at UCLA?

"Hopefully I'll stay at the top of the depth chart. My expectations are to just ball up the entire time I'm here. Try to win a championship. Trying to building from what they had last year."

How familiar do you feel with your teammates yet?

"I know them a lot better now, playing next to them every day. I feel comfortable with them. When you're playing next to them you can then trust them."

What's your impression of the defense so far?

"I think we're looking pretty good. We're getting the scheme down. So far this week has been better than last Friday. I think we're starting out pretty good, and if we keep getting better every day we'll be allright."

How much has defensive line coach Don Johnson been an influence so far?

"A lot. It's a big jump from JC to D-1. People are a lot bigger and a lot faster. The speed and the athleticism is different. The competition is about the same, but a little level above the JC. So, he's helping me make that transition. He's been good."

Was the off-season training tough?

‘It was, but then again, it wasn't. Since I had been at Miami, I already knew what a program like this expects. Knowing already what they expected, that helped."

Coming from a JC, do you think the team is looking to you for immediate impact – an immediate lift?

"Yeah, probably. And I expect it of myself, too. I've come here to make an impact, in two years. So I don't have a long time to fool around. So I'd better make an impact."

Do you expect to start in the fall?

"If things keep going the way they are, yeah."

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