Wow. What a kid. Can’t say much about him that you won’t be able to tell in this interview.
Better yet, he really wants to do a chat next week *he’s one of the special guests I was talking about* and we have it tentatively planned for Tuesday night at 4 p.m.
Check out my interview with Olaniyan after the jump, and click on his name for his recruiting profile…
What was signing day like for you?
“It was great – I felt like a fan. The signing day special on ESPNU, I turned it on at 10 and watched it until four, watching all those guys announce and declare. I couldn’t sleep the whole night before, though. I wanted it to happen so bad. I was ready at 7 (Eastern time), I think I sent mine in at 4:01 a.m. It was a great feeling. I was glad to get it done with and finally be a Bruin.”
As a fan for a day, were you impressed by the class UCLA ended with?“When you play with real good players, it makes you better. I’m already looking forward to playing like guys like Josh Shirley and Owa and Jordan, Derrick Bryant, Cash, Dietrich – those are guys I’ve had a chance to build some relationships with. It’s a great feeling – Coach Neuheisel has been talking about championships and just having such a great class defensively. I can’t wait to get there in the summer?
So you’re coming early?“I’ll be there June 15th, but I’ll also be out for the spring game and get a chance to meet some of the guys and go around campus.”
How did UCLA get such a great class despite its recent record?“It’s always great to not just hop up on the bandwagon but start something on the ground floor floor. You talk to Coach Neuheisel and you get that feeling that championships will be won. The reason he pulls in such a great recruiting class is he relates to us. He studied Political Science and was a laywer, things I see myself doing after my career. A great recruiter, a great family man – my mom raves about him all the time. You don’t win games with your previous records. Next year, we’ll bring the Bruins back to a national level.”
Talk about coming to the West coast all the way from Virginia?“I’m the kind of guy that always likes doing something new. I’ve been at boarding school since I was 13. Being away from home really isn’t that big of a deal. Coming out to the West coast, able to gain this new experience will be great.”
You played a lot of the season as a hybrid linebacker/end, how will that serve you at UCLA?
“Starting off the year, my coach Alexander knew UCLA would want me at an outside linebacker that blitzes a lot. Coach Alexander recognized that, and I practiced with the linebackers all season. I played one game as a middle linebacker, a couple as an outside. The transition will definitely be hard, but I hope that I can pick things fast enough, hopefully be able to contribute. But I’d be more than happy to redshirt, too.”
With Reggie Carter, Kyle Bosworth, Alterraun Verner and several other defensive leaders gone, there is a void not just of experience, but leadership – how do you hope to continue that?
“Being a leader is not just being on the field but off the field. Taking care of business in the classroom and not getting into any trouble off the field – man, my mom would kill me if I did. It’s about making sure I do eveyrhting to be a leader. I want to be a guy. I know that I want to do that, what I’ll be able to bring to the UCLA football team.”