Monday's UCLA (sound) bites from practice

UCLA's Ryan Hofmeister says the team has more depth at linebacker than last year

Happy game week, where hypotheticals and hopes become realities. We’re going to have a lot of content up on the blog over the next week, including season previews of where the Bruins stand at various positions. On Monday, we did the offensive backs. Tuesday will be the defensive backfield, Wednesday the offensive receivers, Thursday the defensive front seven, and Friday the offensive line and special teams. Check it all out.

Here are some sound bites from Monday’s practice.

Redshirt senior linebacker Ryan Hofmeister

On linebacker depth: “Before, we were very minimal on our depth, and this year, we have a whole lot of depth and we’ll be able to see guys competing every week.”

On being named a captain: “I play a small role, and looking from a bigger aspect, it’s awesome that I guess you could say I’m looked up to by people and that people listen to what I have to say. It’s nice and it’s humbling. I just feel honored.”

For more on Hofmeister, including his role on the Bruins' special-teams unit, check out this post.

Sophomore linebacker Myles Jack

On playing running back this season: “It really just depends on the coaches. Me, personally, I’m more than up for it. They’ve talked to me a little bit about it, just hinting here and there, but we’ll see. I’m sure it’ll be like last year, where it will kind of be an unorthodox, last-minute type of deal. Wherever they have me, I’m up for it.”

On other young players playing both ways: “You never know what coach [Noel] Mazzone is going to do, like last year. He could put a whole bunch of young guys on there. There are a lot of guys out here that played both ways in high school.”

On playing running back last year: “My situation was more of guys having nicks or bruises and I was the next guy going. When you bring somebody in, you don’t normally bring him in to play two positions. It worked out, I was successful at it.”

On expectations this season as opposed to last year: “It definitely feels different. You can close your ears all you want, but you’re going to hear what people are saying about your team. You’re going to come across an article here or there or turn on ESPN and they’re saying stuff about us. We’re aware of what the expectations are.”

On being in game week: “I’ve been itching for this week since the season ended. I’m excited, I’m ecstatic ... I honestly can’t wait for Saturday.”

Follow more Bruin observations, follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook

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