Breazell: "Confidence in Our Playmakers"

Brandon Breazell, the senior wide receiver, talks about his recovery from the knee injury he suffered in spring practice, his off-season work ethic, what he feels he needs to do in his senior year, and the key to UCLA's offense being better this season...

Brandon Breazell, the senior wide receiver, spoke to us after the first practice of fall camp Monday.

Now that you're a multi-year veteran, how has this off-season differed for you from the other off-seasons?

"Having to re-hab off the hurt knee. But I liked it. It made me focus more in my last year and I had to work harder. I just felt I had to push myself more."

So, re-habbing the knee made you work harder overall, do you think?

"Yeah, probably. I also realized that this might be, could be, my last chance. And the last one has to be the best one."

How is the knee?

"Good. I took too many reps today, so it's kind of banged up. If feels a little sore so I'm going to re-hab right now (after practice). I just have to not do as many reps and I'll be fine."

The injury was right before the spring scrimmage, correct?

"Yes."

What was it exactly? What was the diagnosis? "They diagnosed a partially-torn PCL. But I had a second look, and there was a partially-torn PCL and also some slight tears in my MCL, so that's what really did it."

So, why no surgery?

"I don't like surgery. I'm trying to stay away from it. They said I didn't need it. They believed it could heal on its own. It wasn't as bad as other guys who have had it."

Has it impacted your ability to run or your speed?

"Actually, I feel quicker. I feel quicker and faster."

What do you attribute that to?

"Working out. And working out extra. I worked out extra for the knee, but the way it happened, when I realized the knee was better I started to work out more. So I worked out more and more as my knee got better."

In 2005 you had a very promising season, and then last year in 2006, probably not has good. How does that affect your work ethic? "Anytime you don't do as well as you think you should it makes you work harder."

As a senior this year, does it take on more meaning?

"I obviously want to have an outstanding season. I want this season to be better than all three of my seasons. I'd love it to be better than all of them put together."

What do you think you had to improve upon from last season? "Getting bigger, gaining weight. I've been using different techniques to do it. So just gaining weight and getting stronger. So I was even more committed to the weight room."

How much do you weigh now?

"I gained five pounds, believe it or not, in a week, and that got me to 167. Something like that. And I've gotten stronger."

Being stronger, do you see a difference in running routes?

"It makes it easier to get off bump coverage. I feel like I can use more strength to get off the press and stay on my route."

Was the playbook much different under new Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell, or very similar to what it was in the past?

"It was the same thing, essentially, but he just changed some terminology."

With Ben Olson coming in as the named starter, what does that do for the offense knowing who the starter is from the beginning of fall camp?

"It doesn't do that much. We're going to work for whoever is back there. So it doesn't really matter who's back there."

What do you think about the wide receiver group as a whole?

"Solid. Strong. We're family. We've worked out together so much we've created a bond together. So we're like brothers. We're great."

What do you think the offense has to do to break out of last year's rut?

"Have more confidence. Have more confidence in our playmakers."


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