October 24, 2008
Nelson Rosario breaks out
True freshman wide receiver Nelson Rosario gave Bruin fans a glimpse into the future with his stellar and clutch performance against Stanford last Saturday. His fingerprints were all over UCLA's thrilling victory over the Cardinal. He ended up catching four passes for 71 huge yards. BruinBlitz.com talked to Rosario about his big game.
BruinBlitz.com: Nelson you played a huge part in Saturday's win against Stanford. You made biggest plays with those huge catches that moved the chains and without those two catches maybe the game would have had a different outcome. You climbed the latter for both of those receptions, and I don't think there was anybody in the stadium, let alone the field that could have caught the ball, but you. Can you walk us through those two receptions?
Rosario: "Well both of them were the same exact play. I had to run to get to the middle. It was the same exact yardage, it was third and 17 on both of them, so I knew that I had get past the sticks, but my route tells me to get past the sticks anyway, so it was 18 yards either way, so when I broke in the first thing I was thinking was find a hole and Kevin Craft just put the ball in the air and I was just thinking if the ball in the air and it's around me then ball was coming down with me.
"I just went up there and I didn't even try to jump that high, I just reacted to the ball and it was all one big reaction."
BruinBlitz.com: Do you think that your track skills and talents kind came into play there because you were a great leaper in high school?
Rosario: "Actually the way I approached the it was kind of like a high jump, because I took my arms and jumped off my left leg so I can see the similarity. It was like track and basketball really, going up for a rebound really. I just let my athleticism take control of me and I just took the ball out of the air."
BruinBlitz.com: Stanford was the seventh game was that the first time that they really started throwing your way?
Rosario: "I caught one ball against Tennessee and then I got hurt
BruinBlitz.com: How many games did you miss?
Rosario: "I was out for two games. Well I missed one game and then I actually suited up, but I didn't go in because of precautionary reasons. Then in the other games I had a couple balls thrown my way, but for whatever reason they weren't caught either the DB knocked it down, whatever but they really started to throwing to me last game and we hooked up that was a big confidence builder. I hope he trusts more because I can come down with it."
BruinBlitz.com: On the game winning drive you also a little out route that was a huge play you almost picked up a first down
Rosario: "That was a hitch and I just felt the defender coming from the outside so I tried to knife it up to the top, straight up and it ended up being nine yards, which was on four or five yard route so that was pretty good."
BruinBlitz.com: Yeah it set up Chane Moline's nice run. You had a lot of plays in that game that were crucial to the win. In high school you were also known to have had the reputation for coming up big, in big games, in big situations
Rosario: "Yes, that's kind of what I live for. I love getting the ball in big times like this. When it is game time, I pretty much try come down everything and my focus is way up so in high school that is just what I did. When the ball is in the air it is mine and if it is anywhere around me I'm going to try to make big plays."
BruinBlitz.com: How do you like college?
Rosario: "College is fun, of course. It is a little bit faster and at the next level it is always going to get bigger and better. I'm just adjusting."
BruinBlitz.com: Is college everything you expected? What is the biggest difference between last year and what you are doing now on Saturday's?
Rosario: "You definitely have to have a lot more focus. You have to know more, as far as the plays go and I have to be right on everything I do.
"In high school, I could slide away and get away with a lot of stuff and I definitely have to give 100 percent effort on every play. That's the major big difference. Another big difference is how everybody reacts so fast on the field."
BruinBlitz.com: What do you have to do against Cal?
Rosario: "We have to be flawless, well not flawless, but we have to come out there and execute. We can't settle for these slow starts anymore. We have to come out and get on them tough early."
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