Baca Talks at NFL Combine

The UCLA offensive lineman Jeff Baca is Indianapolis working out at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, and he talked about Adrian Klemm and Jim Mora, and the influence of his father...

Indianapolis, Indiana -- UCLA offensive lineman Jeff Baca is participating in the NFL 2013 Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium this week.

I asked Baca about the transition from Rick Neuheisel to Jim Mora, and how Mora and Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm really helped prepare him for this stage.

"Neuheisel was a great coach," he said, but he noted how much he liked the increased intensity and passion Mora instilled.

"Just brought the passion out of the guys that was necessary to win football games," he said.

"A genius" and "Offensive line guru" is what he called Klemm, his one-year coach.

Baca effused: "The way he was able to get three freshmen to play with a senior and a guy coming off a mission and play the way we did was phenomenal."

When asked about what NFL players he admired, Baca said growing up he was a big fan of Jeff Saturday, the former Indianpolis Colt All-Pro.
Jeff Baca.

"When I started to play football, he was the best of the best right at that time," Baca said. "I just tried to model my game after him. I was looking for a guy that was in the NFL that maybe was playing my position that I was potentially going to play. I loved him, the way he played the game. He's just a great guy off the field, too."

The biggest impact on Baca and his playing career was his father dying of a stroke when he was 13 years old. His father was a UCLA fan, which made going to the school "a no-brainer" when they offered a scholarship.

"I committed on the phone right there on the spot," Baca said. "It meant a lot to me and my family. I think about him every day."

While the immediate grieving process was extremely difficult, and lasted quite a few years, for Baca, he was able to convert it into a positive, and mature and learn through it.

"I think it really started paying off with how mature I was for my age. I think that helped me learn the game of football faster because I used it as an escape, from what was going on at home and in my life, and I could step out on the field and not be thinking about all the other stuff."

Video Interview Coming Soon...

Bear Report Top Stories