UCLA football offensive lineman Tyler Manoa spoke to reporters after Sunday morning’s fall camp session. Manoa talked about how comfortable he is in his new position after coming off the defensive side of the ball in the spring, his relationship with Antonio Mafi and how he adjusts when he feels like he’s not in the right headspace.
How is everything going?
Oh man, everything is going well. Sure some days up and some down days, but at the end of the day, try to learn from those mistakes and just try to move forward and try to execute and be better the next day.
Comfort level in OT?
Man, I don’t know if I can answer that, but right now, I feel good. Just the group of guys in the room, they’re helping me a lot. Coach Drew has been helping me a lot, just looking at those extra reps and really honing in on those techniques and stuff because, you know, offensive line is a really technical position. So every day, just trying to hone in on those little key techniques and go out there and execute and try to get better.
Is the mental part as harsh as the physical transition?
I mean, yes. You definitely have to come out each day with the right mindset. I can honestly say that I had a bad day the other day and my headspace was not in the right zone. And every day after that, I’m just trying to come into the meets with the right mindset, whether it’s pre-practice, and then just in practice, just try to have a good mindset with everything, just encourage and go.
Do you and Mafi support each other, both moving from DL to OL?
Uh, you know, me and Mafi have been together since the first day I was here, so I mean, yeah I definitely talk to him a lot and he definitely tells me what’s on his mind. But at the end of the day, we’re here, we’re brothers and we’re here to hold each other up so we do a good job of doing that.
Affected by Mafi’s body transformation?
You know, that’s just dedication on his part. I mean, that was all him. I mean, there were a lot of people telling him that if he lost weight, he would make some incremental progress in his game and that’s exactly what he did. He took it into his own hands and he lost that weight and you can say, man, get ready on September 3rd.
Encouraging forgiveness along the way?
Um, I mean, he’s his own person and whatever he puts his mind to, he goes and does. And that’s just with school and football, so it’s definitely something I appreciate and I care.
How do you try to fix things if you’re not in the right headspace? Who do you go to or talk to?
I mean, that day, I don’t think it was until I finished practice and watched the film and really noticed, like, I was in a funk. But really, you know, these last few days, just trying to lean on the other guys and, you know, starting practice with good energy and trying to be an inspiration to somebody else, whether it’s the younger guys or. The older boys and I will definitely look to get some motivation throughout practice, pushing through and finishing strong.
Scroll to continue
Did Raikwan give you tips?
Man, you know, I definitely – you know, he has a lot of experience, coming from Rutgers and I definitely ask him a lot of questions. Like I said, it’s very technical, so I ask him a lot of questions, just to see where his mind is at and then see what Coach Dreve offers and then just work and see what works best. And I think everybody helps each other so we can figure out what’s the best technique for somebody.
Offensive line schemes a bit complicated?
Yeah, coming from defense, it was definitely a big switch, but, you know, after everything is done at home you have to study things and we leave the building and it’s really up to you if you want to take the next step and study. on his own. So that’s something that I try to do, just take it in my hands and study so that I can make those strides.
When you get it like the light is on?
Um, I mean, maybe for other guys they’ve been in the system for a while, but for me, everything is coming, but it gets complicated. But, you know, when I have to pay attention to those things and ask questions so I can figure those things out for myself.
Where have you made the biggest jump since spring?
Um, you know, being comfortable. I mean, yeah, I go out there and there might be some mistakes sometimes, but I mean, at the end of the day, just try to learn from that mistake and go to the next play.
Drevno emphasize things like coach Frye?
Look, I wasn’t in that room when Coach Fry was here, but I mean, Drev — I can’t even answer that, I can’t even answer that, I wasn’t even in Coach Fry’s room.
How was it working with him?
You know, Coach Fry – I mean, Coach Dreve, you know, he was really welcoming. Uh, I don’t know, he’s been helping me a lot, I can honestly say, definitely helped make the transition easier, like I said with all the other guys. But yeah, coach Dreve has been helping me a lot.
What are your thoughts on what the O-line can do?
You know, we’re still putting things together, we still have two weeks until game day and, you know, we’re going to put in work every day for the next two weeks and we’ll be ready in September. 3.
Read more UCLA stories: UCLA Bruins on Sports Illustrated
Read more UCLA football stories: UCLA Football in Sports Illustrated