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July 25, 2014

Jim Mora


COACH MORA:  Good morning.  Thanks to everyone for being here.  It's an exciting time.  The start of the season.  Media day kind of signifies the end of the off?season and the start of your new season, your new endeavors and new challenge.  We're really excited about this upcoming season.  I think it's going to be a very challenging season for us.  We've got a difficult schedule, an exciting schedule.  A very challenging schedule that we're going to embrace fully.  Lot of expectations out there as I've read for our team, but none of that matters.  What matters is our expectations for ourselves.
We've got two great representatives of UCLA football and college football here today that I want to introduce our quarterback number 17, Brett Hundley, and our middle linebacker, number 6, Eric Kendricks.  Both tremendous young men, great football players and in my opinion great ambassadors to college football.  So there you have it.

COACH MORA:  I don't know what they've planned.  I'm not real good about looking too far into the future.  That's how we approach it.

Q.  Maybe talk about the expectations with the team that you have and the things that you can do.  What will you do this season as opposed to previous years?
COACH MORA:  I don't really view it any differently.  Every day our goal is to be the best we can be that day and come back the next day and be a little better.  That is the approach you have to take.  If you look too far down the line or listen to what's going on outside you make a mistake and you have your ability to be successful.  For us, it's always about narrowing the focus down to what we can control and what matters, and that's what we're doing that day.  I know that sounds cliché and it's boring and nobody wants to hear it, but it's the truth.  I mean, it really is the truth.  What's fun for me and exciting for me is that our players have embraced that philosophy.  I don't think when you get around our team you hear them talking about the outside expectations or a long?term goal.  They talk about the process, the grind, going to work every day and being great.  So that gives you hope that your players take on the same mindset that you have and you want.

Q.  Temperatures in San Bernardino?
COACH MORA:  I hope it's hot.  I would just like us to be in triple digits.  As long as we're in triple digits, I'll be happy.  No, the San Bernardino heat is just, I guess it's a plus.  The reason we go there is not because of the heat, but because it gives us a chance to get into an environment where there are fewer distractions, where we're isolated and we can focus on each other and get to know each other better.  Build those bonds that you need to help you through the season.  Overcome some adverse climates, but I like the weather.  I like it hot.  I think it's good for us.

Q.  Are you planning the San Diego retreat again?
COACH MORA:  Retreat?  That's a nice way of putting it.  Three days on the field is a retreat?  No, we're going right to San Bernardino and we're going to get to work.  We've done that.  Can't do it every year or it loses its impact.  I thought it was incredibly productive for us last year.  I think it helped us get through a lot of really difficult times.  Most specifically the death of Nate Pasquale, but it's time for us to go out there and start practicing football and become the best football team.

COACH MORA:  I have a lot of trust in Brett.  I think our team and coaches have a lot of faith that he's going to do the right thing.  I think the reason is because he's put the work in.  He just doesn't show up and kind of wing it.  He's had a great off?season.  He's invested a lot of time in his craft, and he understands his offense now.  He understands his capabilities.  He knows the players around him a lot better.  So when you see a young man work as hard as Brett is and be as invested as he is in this team and this position, it gives you a great deal of faith.

Q.  Was there anything different about this off?season?
COACH MORA:  Yeah, he spent time, made a conscious decision to try to expose him to some NFL players.  Spent time with Philip Rivers.  Spent time as we all know with Peyton Manning last week, spent time with Tim Tebow talking about leadership things and guiding a team.  You know, he spent more time in the office in in formal situations.  Sitting in Coach Klemm's office talking about protections.  Or sitting in Coach Ulbrich's office talking about defense.  So you can have a better understanding of the game.  I think after two years in the system, he was able to do that.  He understands what we're doing on offense and that you can always increase your knowledge, but it was time to expand and learn more about the rest of the game.  He did a tremendous job of that.

COACH MORA:  Oh, I don't think there is a conference that's close in terms of the quality of quarterback.  And that's not to say they're all going to go be great NFL players, but they're great college football players.  Every week you get ready to play a Pac?12 quarterback, and there is a trait that they have that is unique, that is difficult to defend.  And I have great respect for the quarterbacks in this conference.  Many of them will go on to have great careers, but to me, I don't think it's even close.  I don't think there is another conference that has near the quality of quarterbacks.  I think there are a lot of great quarterbacks out there.

COACH MORA:  I'm excited about our defense.  Jeff Ulbrich takes over as our defensive coordinator.  He was our linebacker coach and defensive coordinator the last two years.  He's a passionate guy with a great knowledge base.  Played ten years with the San Francisco 49ers as a linebacker, so he understands the players' perspective.  He's got great energy, and our players respond well to him.  I think we've got some depth on defense.  We're losing some really good players.  Three guys that got drafted Cassius Marsh, Eric Kendricks, and Anthony Barr.  And we've got to replace those guys.
But we've got our entire staff is basically back.  We have a pretty good group of linebackers, though as I said, it will be tough to replace those guys.  But our defensive line, one of the main concerns for me defensively would be how to replace Cassius and Anthony's productivity rushing the passer, because they were productive.  It didn't always register in the amount of sacks, but the pressures, disruptions, making the quarterback uncomfortable or move out of the pocket.  So how do we replace those numbers?  Someone's going to have to step up and do it.

Q.  You can talk about what you wanted, but when you look at what you've done over the past few years and you go talk to kids and they've seen what you've done (No microphone)?
COACH MORA:  Well, when you're having some success, and our success right now in my opinion is still very limited.  We haven't won the Pac?12 Championship.  We're 0?3 against Stanford.  I don't want our players to feel like we're extra special and we've accomplished the goals we've set out to accomplish or that we're on the right track.  When you have a guy like Brett Hundley or Myles Jack who is kind of a national scorer, anytime you can get positive visibility it helps your recruiting.  It helps you when you go into a home and they're familiar with Myles Jack, maybe you're talking to a player about being a two?way athlete, and other teams are as well.  You can say we can show you ten guys playing both ways and other teams do that.  So that's how it is.

COACH MORA:  Consistency.  I think going from Harbaugh, and staying in?house, and going to David who is very stable coach and great man, principled, you know, they are always going to stay true to the type of student?athlete they recruited.  They have a formula and they stick to their formula, and their formula works.  You play a Stanford team, they're not going to make a lot of mistakes.  They're not going to beat themselves.  You're going to have to beat them.  They're disciplined and tough.  They tackle well.  They don't break down in coverage.  Their quarterback takes care of the football, their receivers make great catches.  Their runners run hard and they're big and physical up front.  They've got that formula that they've had consistency with, and that's what we're struggling for, the consistency in the way.

COACH MORA:  He's mature.  He's playing two years.  He's been in the national spotlight a little more.  I think he's prepared himself in this off?season a little better bit more.  I think it's not just sitting down talking Xs and Os.  But how do you balance your life?  How do you prepare during the week to play well on Sunday?  How do you balance your obligations to your family and your profession?  Now with Brett, it's not necessarily family and profession, but it's school, it's social.  It's going to be for him a lot of media obligations.  We've got to do a good job as a staff of making sure to protect Brett.  Brett's an incredibly mature young man.  He's a gracious, genuine kid.  I think he'll navigate this very, very well.  And you know what, he deserves it, and he'll handle it well.  He has an ego like we all do, but it's firmly in check.

COACH MORA:  We lost Austin Roberts to ACL, and that's already public knowledge.  That's unfortunate because he was doing well in the off?season.  He'll be back strong.

COACH MORA:  7?on?7, I guess.  I wasn't there.  He came down on it wrong.  He's going to get surgery.  But other than that, I've gotten an injury report a couple days ago, and it looks like we're on track with all the guys.  If they're going to be able to go or not, it being lose like they'll get assignment.  Connor, Chris Johnson's not going to be there.  Those are guys we already knew were out.  But those guys on the bubble, it looks like we're going to get all those guys back.  We had a little scare the other day with Justin Combs, thought he tore his peck muscle, but he didn't.  So he's going to be okay too.

Q.  Johnny done?
COACH MORA:  Johnny is done for the season.  He had to have surgery for the second time.

COACH MORA:  It's a week?to?week proposition.  You'd like balance, but balance doesn't always mean it's 50?50.  For me balance is if you have to throw the ball to win the game, you do, if you have to run it to win, you can run it to win.  I want to be that type of team where we're not one dimensional.  I think our offensive line we started three freshmen, very young.  Had a freshman All?American in Simon Goines who is not even starting right now.
If we can stay healthy, we should be able to run the ball.  I think Brett developing as a passer and the receiving core we've got should help us run the ball.  You know, Brett, I like when Brett takes off and runs.  I count those as runs.  Those go in the run yardage.  But my personality, I'd like to be able to just pound it at people.  We're getting closer to where we can do that.

Q.  Talk about your commitment (No microphone)?
COACH MORA:  You know, UCLA showed a tremendous commitment to me and they trusted me by hiring me.  I love it there, and I don't want to go anywhere.  It's home now.  I want to see us build something special.  I'm committed to our university.  I'm committed to Dan Guerrero, and probably most importantly I'm committed to our players.  We go recruit these kids, go into their homes and talk to their parents and we ask them to commit to us.  We see coaches run out on them, and I don't think that's right.  We sit in our meeting rooms and talk to our kids about being selfless and sacrifice and putting a team first.  Then you see coaches when the first opportunity comes up to take off and better their situation, they run and do it and leave these kids behind with these, to me, empty lessons.  And that's not who I want to be.  I'm saying there until they kick me out.  That might be tomorrow, who knows.  I've been kicked out before.  But I'm staying until they kick me out.

COACH MORA:  Is that how I felt?  Yeah, that's how I always feel.  I never was going to leave UCLA.  Dan Guerrero went out on a limb when he hired me.  Let's not kid anybody.  I wasn't the most popular hire in the history of college sports, I can promise you that.  He showed a real faith in me, and I appreciate that.  I'm a little person.  I love it there.  UCLA, where else are you going to go?  Everyone could argue, well, you could go here or here.  Well, for me, this is the place I want to be.

Q.  Talking about Guerrero going out on a limb, do you feel more satisfaction now?
COACH MORA:  I don't really live that way.  I don't live in the past.  I don't live in the future.  I kind of live in the present.

Q.  Do you look back at it and laugh?
COACH MORA:  No, I don't even look back at it.  I appreciate it, but I don't waste a whole lot of time on it.

Q.  With all the hype (No microphone)?
COACH MORA:  It hasn't been that hard to do because of the group of young men that we have.  Their goals, I think, are aligned with mine.  Their mindset is like mine which every day has got to be a great day.  When you have a strength and conditioning coach like Sal Alosi and commands the respect that he commands from them and they react the way they react to him, it makes it very, very easy.  That is one of the things that's exciting for me is that I don't see our kids being distracted by people coming around.  It's one of the reasons I feel comfortable with us doing The Drive on the Pac?12 Network, is I think we're mature enough now to handle any so?called distractions.  So maybe it's going to be a problem, but I don't think so.

Q.  Have you laid down any ground rules with The Drive?
COACH MORA:  Oh, any, a list.  I'm very protective of our space and our environment.  There is a sanctity of the core.  Your locker room is special.  Who you let into your environment dictates the climate.  So anytime you let someone in a meeting that the players haven't seen, it could change the climate of the meeting.  So initially we'll start with our photographers in there because our photographers are in there all the time.  I don't know that people know that, but because of recruiting and marketing, you have cameras around you all the time.
So our players are used to having cameras, all of them, 24/7.  But they're also used to the faces behind that camera.  So until they start to learn some of these other people and see they are a part of our team, we have to be diligent about making sure we protect our environment.  Then we have full editorial control.  So nothing's going to get out there that we don't want out there or it will be the last show we do.

Q.  Now that the exposure is rising in college (No microphone)?
COACH MORA:  I don't know, maybe.  Probably a little bit.  There is nothing that the NFL does that's any more significant than this in my opinion, I just think we have good kids.  We have good coaches.  Our young men, like I said, they've embraced the mindset that we've asked them to embrace, which is let's take care of today, the business at hand.  I'm not saying it's perfect and it's like that every single day and we're brain washed.  But we're moving in that direction, and that's encouraging.

Q.  Talk about star power (No microphone)?
COACH MORA:  Yeah, that's okay.  (No microphone) that's how I look at it.  Probably.  Though Myles brings that star power.  But Moala's a heck of a player.  And Eric's here today, and Eric's a heck of a player, and the way Anthony Jefferson, anyone that knows UCLA like you three guys do have seen what Anthony Jefferson has had to go through to get where he is, that's a great story in itself.  A little bit, and that's okay.  I don't think it bothers anybody.  One of the true indicators to me about the personality of our team was last year when Myles started turning the ball a lot.  We played ten defensive players on offense.  Well, you might expect that there would be a jealousy factor.  Or wait a minute, Jordan James, wait a minute.  I'm the running back.  It was never any of that.  It was complete encouragement for what can we do to be better as a football team?  Does that mean Myles carries the ball?  Great.  Does that mean Eddie Vanderdoes catches it on our 4th and 2 against Arizona State?  Great, that's what we do.  Everyone's pulling together.  So we've got to keep that dynamic.  That is really important.

COACH MORA:  You just constantly emphasize being selfless, and don't allow any selfishness to permeate your environment.  You nip it in the bud.  You pay attention to it.  You don't make exceptions.  There are no sacred cows on our team.  Our best players are held to the exact same standard as our less talented players.  I think you just have to be diligent about it all the time.  You can't let it slip.

Q.  Like you said before (No microphone)?
COACH MORA:  Yeah, that's what's important to me right now.  And I think those are important lessons for our young men to learn and they're learning it.  Like I said, we're not perfect.  We all make mistakes.  When you're dealing with 120, 17 to 22?year?olds, things are going to pop up on occasion, but they're getting it.  They're getting it.  I think it's a credit to them, their families and our assistant coaches.

COACH MORA:  Editorial control, there you go.

Q.  Talk about recruiting.  Recruiting (No microphone) what intrigued you about his talent?
COACH MORA:  First and foremost was his character.  He's just an amazing kid.  Second, his ability.  He can play both sides of the ball.  He's dynamic as a play maker on offense.  He's fearless as a defensive back.  He played safety.  He's not the biggest guy in the world, but he'll throw his body in there.  I think he's very, very smart and serious about being a great person, player, student.  He's just the kind of person that we want at our school.  I love his dad.  I think his dad has done an amazing job of raising him.  Really good man.  Just comes from the kind of background that I think is going to enhance our program.

Q.  Speaking of freshmen, who do you think will have some impact in San Bernardino?
COACH MORA:  I haven't been around them much.  I've heard through the grapevine a couple things.  Yeah, I've heard really great things about Alex Van Dyke.  The players that I've talked to, talking to Brett, talking to Eric.  They keep talking about Alex Van Dyke.  They keep talking about Nate Starks.  They keep talking about Matt Dickerson.  They all talked about Kenny Young.  Certainly they know Zach Whitley and Najee and those guys that were there in the spring.  Of the guys that weren't there in the spring, those are the names that keep coming up, and Jaleel.  Everybody loves those guys.  Those are young men that could come in and potentially play.  We won't have as many freshmen playing this year as we did last year.  Hopefully we don't have as many.  But there will be some that contribute.  Those are some of the names that I'd look for.

COACH MORA:  Well, I mean, we're making progress.  I think we're on the right track.  We're not where we want to be.  Hopefully we keep the attitude that we're never where we want to be.  But I'm excited about where we're going.  I like the mindset of our team.  I think that they get it.  I don't think they're satisfied.  They understand there is a whole lot out there that they still need to accomplish to really confirm that we are who we want to be.  But I'm excited about the growth.

COACH MORA:  The what now?

COACH MORA:  Oh, no, it's a couple things.  Just reminders.  There are things you have to emphasize on a daily basis.  So like everybody.  Couple sayings and visuals when they come into the locker room and leave the locker room.  They can probably recite them verbatim.  They've probably never read them, but subconsciously they're on the wall.

Q.  What are logistical things that can make it easier for you to do your job?
COACH MORA:  We've moved down that path.  I mean, that's happening.  That's a given.  I mean, there is no coming back from that.  We're going to have a brand?new facility.  I meet with the architects every couple weeks.  It's going to be an amazing, amazing facility.  Then really just the continued support.  Being able to keep coaches.  Being able to provide the best environment for our student?athletes to have success, feeding them.  We already have great academic support.  Being able to continue along that path.  I don't think that we're lacking a whole lot at all.  Once that facility is built, there are no excuses.  There are no excuses.

Q.  Do you know Chris Petersen much?
COACH MORA:  No, I met him twice.  I know him from afar in Washington.  I have great respect for him.  I've listened to him speak.  I've seen his interviews.  I went to the University of Washington, and I'm really happy that they hired him.  As a former Husky, I think he'll do a great job for the program I played in.  Good man.  I know he's a good man.

Q.  Places like Atlanta back in the southeast, for you at UCLA you've had a ton of success bringing kids out of that area.  You've obviously had experience in Atlanta.  Has the recognition of brand grown year by year?
COACH MORA:  It has, but it's still hard to get kids out of that area.  But we're going to continue to recruit down there if we see somebody that we think fits our profile.  There is a lot of talent there.  But there is a great wealth of talent here in California, and specifically Southern California.  So that's always going to be our primary focus.  But we're not afraid to go down there and compete with the SEC teams.  Now does that mean we're going to beat them all?  No, it's hard to recruit down there.  Those Southern kids grow up dreaming of playing at Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, and Ole Miss, and LSU and those schools.  So to draw them away from that is not easy to do, but we're not going to shy away from that.

COACH MORA:  I think what's important is Eric has had a great off?season.  He's not going through spring because of his ankle, but that was more preventative than anything.  Eric is a real leader for us and in his own quiet way.  He doesn't say a lot, so when he does, it holds some weight.  It's usually significant.  He's an excellent football player.  He's fast, he's quick, he's tenacious.  He's sideline to sideline type of guy.  When we lost him last year, we really missed him.  He's kind of a glue guy.  Without even saying a lot, he's kind of that guy that everyone wants to orbit around.  He's a sweetheart.  I know that sounds silly to call one of my players a sweetheart.  But he's a sweetheart.  Like if my daughter dated him and married him, I'd be fine with that.  He's got nice hair.

COACH MORA:  I thought he was a supporting actor.  Brett was a star.  I thought he and Luke Gane who was one of our players last year put that together, and I think the students really enjoyed it.  Anytime you can kind of normalize Brett and humanize him, he walks around that campus and everyone looks at him.  When they get to know him, he's just Brett Hundley.  He's a good guy.  So he does a deal like that and I think people see he doesn't take himself too seriously.

COACH MORA:  EK?  Absolutely.  You know what's great about Eric, I don't think he cares that he's been overshadowed.  I don't think it matters to him.  That his teammates respect him.  I don't think Eric cares one bit that his name is in the headlines.  I don't think he's that type of person, and that's what you want out of your leaders.  You want that selflessness, and that team first attitude.  That's what he embraces that I love that about him.

COACH MORA:  I think it helps our defense and our linebackers specifically.  Jeff played that position at a high level.  Ten years, one team in the NFL, that doesn't happen much.  So that speaks about Jeff's abilities and also speaks about the type of person he is.  So he's able to every day go in and meet with these kids and teach them lessons.  I think it's really helping him off the field more than on the field, and it certainly is helping them on the field.  There are little tricks that you don't understand unless you've played the position.  Little things that you have to learn.
Jeff wasn't the most talented guy in the world, but he developed and created this toolbox of tricks that helped him survive and flourish for ten years in the league.

COACH MORA:  Brett's a throw.  Brett's a passer first.  I would think it would be awful if people started to categorize Brett as a running quarterback.  He's not a running quarterback, he's a quarterback who has great running ability who needs it.  I think when the NFL comes and evaluates him in earnest, that they'll absolutely fall in love with him, because he's a thrower.  They need throwers.  You need guys that can throw the ball down the field.
But it's also nice to have a guy that can do both.  That is one of the things that makes him so special.  You don't find that mix very often.  I think we've got it in this conference more than a lot of places.

COACH MORA:  I think it's great in a Marcus came back, and Brett came back.  I think it's a good precedent, you know, for those that are going to follow.  You know, I think in Brett's case, I can't speak for Marcus, but I know in Brett's case, it was the best thing for him to come back.  It's going to make him a better player in the long run.  He gets to extend his college experience, and it's a fun environment he's going to play in.  When you move to the NFL, everything changes to business.  I don't know why we all feel the need to rush through life all the time.
So Brett gets to enjoy another year.  His dream is not going anywhere.  His dream is to play in the NFL.  Maybe he wins the Heisman.  Maybe he's the first pick in the draft.  Maybe he leads his team to some type of championship.  I think it was a great decision.  I think this conference, top to bottom, I don't know where you're going to go to find better quarterbacks.  These guys are special.  You look around, and they're special kids.

COACH MORA:  I love him.  He plays with a lot of confidence and a lot of poise.  Tough as nails.  I have a great amount of respect for him.  I enjoy the kid.  I love his passion for the game.  I don't like playing against him, but I love the kid.

COACH MORA:  We had to think about it.  But here's what's different:  The Pac?12 Network is our partner.  So they're not looking for scandal.  They're not looking to embarrass anybody.  They're not trying to create headlines.  They're trying to tell compelling stories about student?athletes and about the college experience.  It's different than a show like Hard Knocks where it's about the ratings and creating these story lines that maybe don't exist.  We have great storylines as every team does, kids that come from different backgrounds and amazing circumstances.  So once I thought it through and realized that the Pac?12 Network was our partner, and knew that I had completed control, I was okay with it.  It's okay to have cameramen embedded with our team because we have that anyway.  There are cameras all the time around us.  So it won't be a distraction one single bit.  Not even.  I probably won't even talk to the team about it.  Don't need to.

COACH MORA:  We're always tinkering.  I don't want to lie to you, so I'm trying to think.  Not that I can recall.  I keep telling you guys.  Wait until he's a number one draft pick, and I'm going to say I told you so.

Q.  How many quarterbacks have a real actual chance (No microphone).
COACH MORA:  They dig into that position when they do the evaluation process.  The only guy I'm around on a day?to?day basis is Brett.  And I can tell you unequivocally Brett Hundley is a first round draft pick.  The guy is a future star in the NFL.  He's got every tangible and intangible quality you can look for.

Q.  (No microphone) is Mariota somewhat that way because of the offense that Oregon runs?
COACH MORA:  The thing about Marcus and Brett can they can beat you both ways.  They can beat you with their legs.  They can beat you with their arm.  But I still consider them passers first.  I say that about Brett because people have a tendency at times to see an African?American quarterback and say he's a runner.  And I hate that stereotype.  I always have.  I coached Mike Vick.  I believe we stereotype those guys started with that, and I don't want that to happen with Brett.  I'm going to make sure it doesn't.  It shouldn't.  The guy's a passer, man, but he can run.

Q.  Have you already started to have those conversations with the NFL?
COACH MORA:  No, you know, informally.  If he would have come out, then obviously they would have been very intense.  But I'm sure this year we'll have that conversation.  But those guys will get to know Brett when he goes through the interview process and when he goes to the combine and sits down and talks to them.  When they start to understand what kind of person he is and they see him throw the football and move around the field.  There won't be a lot for me to have to say.  Brett sells himself every day by being who he is.

Q.  What about his work ethic stands out to you, Brett's?
COACH MORA:  It's unparalleled.  When your best player is your hardest worker, it sets a great example for your team.  And Brett is our hardest worker.  Brett and Myles.  If you asked the guys in the locker room who the hardest workers are on the team, they'd say Brett and Myles.  Just the commitment he made in the off?season.  To get in his car and drive down to San Diego and spend time with Philip, and the extra work he puts in in the evenings.  It's not unusual for Brett to do two or three workouts a day.  He's always calling the receivers and throwing with them.
But it's not just the on the field stuff.  It's film work, and diving in and finding out how great ones do it.  How they approach their craft.  That all to me is work ethic.

COACH MORA:  I don't know.  I don't know if you need to replace Jordan.  Every year your team takes on different personality.  I certainly don't want anyone to step out of character.  I think what's important is you are genuine.  So if somebody assumes that role and they're that type of personality, good.  But if no one does, that's okay.  That's okay.  You don't want a phoney, contrived environment.  It has to be genuine.

COACH MORA:  Well, it's a fresh start for them.  It's a guy that had success at USC.  So I think it's given them a shot of energy that I wish they didn't get, you know.  I have great respect for Sark and I like him as a person and as a coach.  I just know he's going to make my job harder.

COACH MORA:  They're always difficult to recruit against.  Everybody is.  But I'm very happy with our recruiting class.  It all depends on what you're looking for and how you evaluate players.  We all have our own criteria for what we're looking for.  And we're very, very happy with our class, very happy.  I don't know.  At what point do you evaluate whether or not a class was successful or not or a good class?  I think you have to wait a little bit.
Last year we didn't have to wait long.  We had 18 freshmen and won 10 games.  So that was a pretty good class.  I know our strength and conditioning coach has told me of the three classes that we brought in none has been as impressive as this class in their off?season workouts.  Their work ethic, attention to detail, focus and really their ability.

COACH MORA:  I think it will.  Having it taken away for a year because of injury I think will crystallized how much he loves this game.  You see him this off?season, he's just different.  He's happy, smiling more.  He's engaged.  He works his tail off.  Moala in the past has sometimes a little bit of a loner.  Now he's around his teammates all the time.  It's not unusual for me?? I follow most of these guys on Instagram, to see a picture of Moala and a couple freshmen.  They may be receivers or defensive backs.  I think he's really embraced them in this last year.  I hope it's reflected in the way he plays.  He always plays with a lot of energy.  Hopefully he lets it go and has a great year.
We're really lucky.  We have in my opinion the best strength and conditioning coach in all of football.  I don't care what level you're talking about.  The players have great trust in Coach Alosi and if they just do what he asks them to do, they're going to do that.  And Moala they say has had extensive time with Coach Alosi because he didn't play last year.  So Sal has gotten to know Moala's body and where his deficiencies are, and they've been able to work through that.

COACH MORA:  About every ten minutes.  I think it's important, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, that's how our youth communicate now.  I always tell our players I'm not looking over you.  When I look at your Twitter and your Instagram and I check you on Facebook.  I'm not looking over you.  I'm looking out for you.  I have four kids.  My kids are in the sweet spot.  I have a daughter that's going to college next year.  A son that's going be tie sophomore in college, and a son that's going to be a sophomore in high school.
So as a parent, I'm at that age group.  I'm checking my own kids, so I'm going to check the kids whose parents have sent them to me.  Like I said, it's an attitude.  The players don't go, man, coach is going to look.  They know if they post something I think is inappropriate, I'm going to call them and say we need to think about that.  Get it down.

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