Brian Poli-Dixon Responses

Oct. 10, 2001

Nick Huizar (Downey, CA)
What do you think was the biggest change from last year to this year? Can I put your reply in my school newspaper?

'I would say that the biggest change from last year to this year would be the experience and hunger of our seniors. Everybody seems to have their eyes on the prize and are focused on a common goal, which is to go out there and win the Pac-10 Championship and go from there. And yes, feel free to put this in your school newspaper.'

Sherwin Daroy
Do you think UCLA has what it takes to beat Miami or Florida come January?

'I definitely think UCLA has what it takes to beat those schools. This is a different group of guys this year. We have a lot of senior leadership and a lot of explosive guys at the right spots. We have an awesome defense as well. They say offense wins games and defense wins championships. So I definitely think Miami and Florida are thinking the same thing about us.'

Matt Robinson (La Mesa, CA)
Now that the NFL beckons, what are your thoughts and reflections on your playing career at UCLA?

'I'm glad I came to UCLA. I met a lot of great people, played for a great coaching staff and just learned a lot. I had a chance to go to bowl games. I was also able to play in a lot of big time games. I just had an all around good time and I'm looking forward to going out on top my senior year. In the future, I will definitely look back at UCLA as a place that I'm proud I gave myself the opportunity to attend.'

Jack Johnson (Tucson, AZ)
Brian, you and Mikey Saffer are both from Sabino High School. What is it about Tucson Arizona and Jeff Scurran, that keeps on producing talent? It seems that high school is a cesspool of talent. Don't forget your roots in Tucson, we are all cheering for you out here.

'First and foremost, I will never forget where I came from. Yes I moved to Los Angeles, but I always look forward to going home. Thank you for the support. Sabino High School does have a reputation for its talent. I think every high school has talent out there, it's just a matter of having a great coaching staff to develop that talent.'

Todd Nathanson (Los Angeles)
Great game on Saturday! What is it like being a high-profile athlete at a school like UCLA? Do people slap you high fives walking by and yell Go Bruins!, or are they more reserved? See you at the Rose Bowl on the 13th.

'Thank you for your support from last game. That's what I expect from myself. I think I'm on and rolling now. In regards to your question, UCLA is more of a reserved campus. I think that's kind of how the crowd at the Rose Bowl is as well. They do definitely support the team, but they aren't as loud and crazy as some of the other fans across the country. Overall, I would say it's fun being an athlete at UCLA.'

Wes Robertson (Washougal, WA)
Congrats on the great game against Oregon State. I was wondering, do you feel it is harder now to catch passes with Freddie being gone because defenses are keying on you more? Good luck and good health the rest of the season!!

'No I don't feel that it's harder to catch passes now that Freddie is gone. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I know I need to be the man. If I didn't want the pressure or have the responsibility of carrying the weight, then I shouldn't be here in the first place.'

Charles Hopkins (Riverside, CA)
After watching what was to be your coming out party in Alabama in UCLA's opener, you proceeded to have one of the most disappointing games in your UCLA career. But much to your credit, you have rebounded beautifully with a huge game in Corvallis this past weekend. What advice do you have for youngsters involved in sports whose reality of success didn't quite meet up with their own expectations? How do they let go of the past and concentrate on the future? Thank You.

'Everything happens for a reason. The Alabama game, I really wanted that a lot. It didn't work out. But it was definitely a growing experience. I think when adversity like that happens, it just makes you a stronger person. To the kids out there who don't quite meet their expectations, I will say that you just have to let things go and you can't dwell on the past. You have to make the most of your next opportunity and focus on that. It's hard to do sometimes, but as you get older you will see that it's best to go about it this way. You pick yourself up, brush yourself off and give it another shot. I'm my own worst enemy at times so it's hard, but I know that the faster I move on, the quicker I can bounce back and make things happen.'

Aaron (San Diego)
Congratulations on the big game against Oregon State. All Bruin fans were happy to see you finally have a breakout performance for this season. How do you think the improved defense has affected the camaraderie of this year's team? It seams that the offense is just as excited to watch the defense as they are scoring points and that the guys are really pulling for each other. I look forward to seeing you in the Rose Bowl in January!

'Thanks for the question. Yeah, I was happy to see myself have a breakout game. I've been overdue. The offense is really excited to watch the defense because we haven't seen a defense like this in some time. It does definitely help our camaraderie and our confidence because we know we don't have to score every single time - even though that is our goal. We know that our great defense is not going to give up that many points. I look forward to seeing you in January at the Rose Bowl.'

Armando Rosales (Cudah, CA)
First of all, congratulations on your coming out day at Oregon St. What adjustments did you make mentally, or perhaps physically, to prepare for the Oregon St. game? You looked like a player possessed out on the field!

'Thanks. Mentally, I just knew I had to go out there and do what I had to do. I tried not to put pressure on myself because of things that have happened in the past. Really, I just had a bad game against Alabama. I didn't catch too many passes the next couple of games, but I was open. Physically, I'm always there physically. I always give 110%. I just want to go out there, play ball, have fun and get a win.'

Mark Kowal (Eagle Rock, CA)
Since the Bruins have a bye this week. My question is will you and your teammates watch the USC Trojans vs. Washington Huskies last Saturday to focus on Washington's defense and offense for their strength and weakness?

'Yes, we watched the game. When we look at a game on ABC or on TV, we basically just look at personnel. We're really not breaking them down. We save that for the film because the film and TV versions are quite different. You can learn a lot more and break a team down more on film. I think Huskies don't have too many strengths or weaknesses. They are just a solid team. They just know how to win. We just need to go out there and get the job done.'

Tyler Davis (Albuquerque, NM)
Brian. I wanted to know what are some keys to be a great wide receiver like yourself and also since you're such a big target do you usually tell your quarterback to throw it up high to you or to just throw it.

'Some keys to being a great receiver, first, you have to be hungry and love the game. You don't have to be blazing fast necessarily, you just have to know how to get open. Secondly, you have to catch what's coming to you. You have to make plays and big plays. As far as the quarterback, yeah I do want him to throw the ball up high, but mostly I just want the ball. It's definitely an advantage being 6-5. But if you're not too tall, just get some speed, make some plays and have some heart.'

Travis Football (Redding, CA)
What NFL teams are you interested in playing for?

'Really, I'll play for anybody. But if I had to pick, I'd like to stay in California or go to Florida. My first choice would probably be the Chargers.'

Leonard Lem (Arcadia, CA)
You have played with two quarterbacks, Cade McNown and Cory Paus. How do you compare their individual strengths and leadership styles? Cory is just beginning his junior year, but what do you see for this season and next?

'Yes, I played with both quarterbacks. When I played with Cade, he was a junior and he had experienced a lot by the time I came in already. He was already heading into his prime, had a lot of confidence and was making plays. He had a good supporting cast around him. When Cory came in he was a freshman and got thrown into the mix. It's a hard position to go in there as a freshman and do well because so much is thrown at you. I've watched him mature and he's doing well. They both have leadership. The only thing that really separates them is experience. The more Cory is in there, the better he is going to get. I see big things for him in the future. Watch out!'

Donald Burns (Hacienda Heights, CA)
Does Being Compared To J.J. Stokes Put Added Pressure To Be A Game Maker/Breaker

'No, it doesn't. I think I put more pressure on myself than anyone could anyway. It's a nice compliment and I've heard that for a while, but I'm trying to make a name for myself and eventually I will.'

April Gonzales (Los Angeles)
What do you like to do in your spare time?

'In my spare time, I like to hang out with my friends, go out to clubs. Stuff like that. I really don't do much. I don't have much spare time.'

Cdawg (Bakersfield, CA)
Do you have trouble picking the ball up sometimes from the QB? I have noticed you miss a lot of easy passes, but usually catch the tougher passes. Can you explain this?

'Sometimes it is hard to see Cory behind the line so it's hard to see when the ball comes out. But there is no excuse to drop easy passes. Sometimes I tend to look into the future and not stay in the minute. I think about what I'm going to do after I catch the ball. It just comes down to focus. On the hard passes, maybe I'm just concentrating too much.'

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