Extended interview with UCLA OT Xavier Su’a-Filo Pt. 4

UCLA offensive tackle Xavier Su’a-Filo arrived in 2009 to much fanfare, the team’s highest-rated offensive line recruit in more than a decade.
His return from a two-year mission, though, might be even more crucial to the Bruins.
I sat down with Su’a-Filo for an hour to talk about faith and football, about how he’s changed in two years, and more importantly to UCLA football fans, how he’s stayed the same. So, to clarify: He is 310 pounds, grew a little taller, worked out on his own quite often, and he expects to be rounding into shape come spring football, with a target goal of getting to his post-freshman level by the fall.
More importantly to him, though, was his change from boyhood to manhood during what was a trying two-year period of his life.
Check out our chat below…

JG: Which coaches went out to see you when you got back, and what did that feel like?
XSF: Man, it made me feel great. (Recruiting coordinator/defensive line coach) Angus McClure called and said he was bringing Coach Klemm and Coach Mora to introduce themselves to me, and I was very excited. Those were the two guys I wanted to meet, naturally. When they told me they were coming over, then I got to sit down and my parents got to sit down and feel comfortable with coach Mora and coach Klemm. I was really able to connect with them and build a different relationship than I had with coach Neuheisel and coach Palcic. They’re completely different coaches. But I still felt comfortable with them. It was nice. It was comforting to know that my coaches, who hadn’t met me yet, flew out to come and see me as soon as I got home because they were excited and want to meet me and still wanted me to come and play.”

JG: How do you stack up to 19-year old Su’a-Filo?
XSF: “I think I’m more of a man. A man’s body. I’m still starting to fill in muscle-wise, in terms of density. But I’m still raw man. I haven’t sat down like I will this next year – this winter, spring, summer, fall – that I’ll be able to train hard for football. Where I stack up? I’m still me. I got a little taller. I’m about 310, 312. I’m out of shape a little but I’m getting back into it. I feel good. I feel like when I lift, I’ll be able to have man strength, and not boy strength. My freshman year, I really struggled with that. I played, but after every game, not a little people know that I was beat up, man. I was beat up. I was in that ice bath hanging out in the training room. Icing, icing and resting. Those games, being 18 years old and playing against those men was tough.

JG: At what point do you have to click the football back on?
CSF: “Ooh. I know what you mean, like it hasn’t hit me yet that way. I’m still thinking about that. I don’t know when it’s going to click back on. It’s slowly starting to. When I was getting home and working out again, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be playing football.” But I think when we get in pads and strap up a helmet, it will click.”

JG: Do you want to hit someone?
XSF: “Oh yeah. Oh yeah, man. Come on bro. It’s been too long. It’s been toooo long. Too long.”

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  • Anonymous

    XSF seems like a great guy, and I’m sure he’ll be an outstanding football player.

    Too bad he’s preaching a false religion.

  • INawe

    Hey XSF is awesome and I can’t wait to see him play on Saturdays. There is no need to make fun of someone’s religion. Please keep that sort of stuff off of this website.

  • Tim Tebow

    Yeah, dude…what does religion have to do with football?

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Hail Mary.
    New Orleans Saints.
    Touchdown Jesus.
    The Saint (fill in blank for rest of school name) What-evers.
    Crusaders. Friars. Blue Devils. Red Devils. Devil Dogs. Demons.
    The John 3:16 dude.
    Jesus Christ! (heard often after fumbles).
    Proverbs Simon (high school teammate of mine).
    Psalm Wooching (incoming UCLA signee).
    Any player or coach named John, James, Pete, Jacob, Joshua, Daniel, Adam, Jesus (heavy on the south-of-the-border accent), Gabriel, Michael, Paul, Andrew, Abraham, Moses, Noah and the like.
    Pre-game prayers.
    Mid-game prayers.
    Post-game prayers.
    Team chaplains.
    Tebowing.

    No, there’s no religion affiliated with football at all.

  • Sal Alosi

    God didn’t make me do it, really, it was just a mistake. I will never do it again.

  • spedjones

    LOL that anon thinks Mormonism is any more false than the rest of ‘em.

    So glad X is back. Stud of a player, gem of a human.

  • ender

    sped:

    Ignorance, on your part, to assume any of the world’s religions are false to begin with, or that a post-modern secularism offers anything better.

    Do your homework and actually study the world’s religions, instead of assuming that fundamentalist Christians and Muslims represented by terrorists and and Tea Partiers is where it stops. And spare me narky quips in reference Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “Book of Mormon,” such pedantic talk is an unjust reflection of Mormons that I know who take their faith seriously, as well as fine men like Xavier.

  • spedjones

    LOL. Less ignorant than assuming any of them are true.

  • ender

    Wow. What a compelling argument. Because saying we’re just part of a cold, materialistic universe, which is part of a greater multiverse, ISN’T just irresponsible speculation or ignorance of a different kind.

    Have you looked into any of the traditions? Have you met anyone from these various communities, or is just more convenient to paint a picture of stereotypes and caricatures as a cop out and make yourself feel better and more secure about your own worldview?

    rockies: The poster to whom you’re referring posted as Tim Tebow. But I think you already notice ;-)

  • Catholic

    At least my religion was started by Jesus…. come home.

  • lol @ ender

    Science > Sorcery