Palacio: From Watts to WSU through Fullington

WASHINGTON STATE BUCK linebacker Kache Palacio is a soft spoken but guy he didn't hesitate in seeking out a player on the offensive side of the ball to help him improve. Palacio also opened up to CF.C about growing up in the Watts area of Los Angeles and how football kept him on the path to WSU.

Palacio went from eight tackles and 0.5 sacks his freshman year to 49 tackles, seven starts 6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks this past season.

And offensive lineman John Fullington had a hand in making it happen.

CF.C: What did you do in order to improve your game between your freshman and sophomore season?
Kache Palacio: I talked to John Fullington on what did I need to work on and he gave me tips on pass rushing and blocking. I went over film more than I did freshman year and just worked on my technique, knowing the plays and getting comfortable with the plays, so when I hear the plays I just know it off the back of my head and I just kind of picked up tips from the person that was in front of me.

CF.C: When did you start playing football and why did you decide to continue playing the sport?
KP: I grew up in Los Angeles, California, more inner city Watts area and I grew up with my Dad and my Mom. My Dad, seeing him play football and I was excited going to his games and I decided to play (at a) young (age). I've been playing since I was six. They put me in flag (football) at six (years old) and I was tackling people, so he (my Dad) got me into tackling early. I guess that's what kept me out of trouble.

CF.C: What did you do in order avoid getting into trouble?
KP: I hung out with positive people. It was always me and my teammates and people that were doing the same things as me. I was very athletic, playing football, basketball, and I'd do a little boxing, I stayed playing sports which what kept me out of trouble. I hung out with my godbrother and us all we knew was football and sports. That's what we did to stay out of trouble.

CF.C: You originally gave a verbal commitment to SMU and then decommitted from them, what was the reasoning behind that decision?
KP: I felt like Washington State was a better fit for me and I kind of got along a lot of the coaches when I came on my visit. Felt like they were good coaches and a lot of the teammates too. The people that I was around (on my visit) they made it more like a family oriented and then people that came with me on my visit I got along with.

CF.C: How close were you to staying home and playing at UCLA?
KP: I was pretty close, but I found a home here. I felt like it was better for me to get away and experience something new and that's what I did and stuck with it.

CF.C: What was your first impression of Coach Leach when you met him for the first time?
KP: He seemed like he was smart, and knew the game. He was also another coach that felt like he was family oriented. That's like all the coaches (at WSU), they accepted me with open arms.

CF.C: Any funny stories you can share that, you've experienced with Coach Leach?
KP: There's a lot, I don't think I can pick one.

CF.C: What's your favorite one?
KP: [Laughs] Just him in the meeting rooms, he tells a lot of jokes and it's just out of the blue and I can't really think of exactly what jokes he says.

CF.C: How do you feel like the defense is coming along this offseason especially after losing most of the secondary from last season?
KP: Right now it feels like it's coming along great. Our front seven is experienced and I feel like we have much more depth with the young guys coming in and even at my position you got Ivan (McLennan) and everybody it's becoming more of a competition. In the secondary, they're picking it up quick.

CF.C: You're in a battle right now with your teammate Ivan McLennan for that starting job at the BUCK linebacker position, what do you need to do in order to win that starting role?
KP: I just feel like I need to separate myself from everybody else in that position.

CF.C: What's on your iPod when you're preparing for a game?
KP: [Laughs] I like to listen to Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie, there's a few underground rappers, like more hype type of rap.

CF.C: If you could play any other position on the football field, what would it be and why?
KP: I'd probably play receiver because I can catch good. I like to run routes. In high school I played tight end pretty good.

CF.C: What's the one team in the Pac-12 you've circled on your calendar and want to hand a loss to this upcoming season?
KP: U-dub (Washington), it's our rival. My godbrother's over there too, so every time I see him when I go back home or call him on the phone, we always talk about the last game that they won and the next two years I really want to beat U-dub.

CF.C: If you could lay a big hit on any offensive player in the Pac-12 who it be?
KP: I'm not too sure if Adoree Jackson (USC) is going to play offense but that's who it would be because that's one of my friends and I'd love to hit him. I know for sure my friend Jordan Lasley (UCLA), he's going to play receiver and I better be the one to lay a big hit on and I can talk about it.

CF.C: What's your goal for this season?
KP: I want to be All-Pac-12, like I said earlier, separate myself from the rest of the people at my position in the country.

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