UCLA soccer receiver Josiah Norwood spoke to reporters following Monday morning’s observe session. Norwood talked about scoring his first profession landing Saturday towards Bowling Inexperienced, what it meant to go on scholarship final week, the significance of walk-ons to the Bruins’ tradition and the way he plans to make up for the misplaced manufacturing of Kyle Philips, Greg Dulcich and Chase Cota this season.
Take us by means of that landing?
Oh, the landing. Yeah, that was a extremely cool second for me. It was humorous too as a result of that morning, one among my pals had texted me, Jerry, and he advised me “You are gonna rating right now.” Tremendous random, and it simply occurred to be that point. Sykesy gave me a fantastic block, Garbers a fantastic throw, like every little thing simply got here collectively rather well. And I believe that is only a testomony to how our workforce works loads this yr too, simply everybody coming collectively and simply placing all of it collectively for one play and it labored out. It was a extremely superior second for me, undoubtedly.
Who was the good friend?
Jerry, he was my finest good friend from highschool and he texted me.
Goes to UCLA?
He goes to USC, really. Yeah, rival. However he is acquired love for me. So he let me know for certain earlier than, and it was humorous too trigger the one different time he texted me too was earlier than was Utah final yr after I dropped a landing. So I needed to stay that down this complete offseason, and it was good to have his again within the first recreation, undoubtedly.
He mentioned you had been going to attain that day too?
Yeah, in order that’s why it was kinda humorous, each days, I simply had a sense, however he is superior, yeah.
What did it imply to have that second in yr 5 after the place change?
I imply, yeah, it was actually superior simply to see all of the arduous work repay. I imply, with all my coaches right here and I imply, simply everybody, I can not even take credit score for that absolutely as a result of there’s so many individuals which were concerned in that. i’ve had coaches, simply making the transition from quarterback – that is Steve Calhoun, Dylan Bradley – I had a bunch of coaches that simply helped me by means of this transition, attending to this second. And clearly coach Kelly and Jerry have all the time been huge believers in me. That is all the time necessary for me, simply going on the market understanding that my coaches have my again and have been believing in me this complete time. So it was superior simply to see it undergo.
Of the fellows you’ve got been roommates with, what number of have gotten scholarships?
So it was me, Alex and Greg, the others really medically retired and a few simply graduated and don’t play anymore, however us three guys, it was simply superior—it type of felt like we acquired it for everyone, actually. It was an excellent second. All of us work arduous. All of the walk-ons simply work so arduous—Ashton, Chase–like, everybody has a fantastic position right here, so it’s simply superior to see a few of us receives a commission off [?] and I’m certain there’s extra coming, clearly, as a result of there’s a variety of arduous staff, a variety of nice walk-ons that we’ve got right here, so it’s cool.
Stepping up with out Kyle and Greg?
Yeah, clearly we misplaced a variety of our receptions final yr and Jerry really challenged us this low season, the very first thing he put up on the board was, the receptions are the identical, these [players] are gone, so everybody that’s right here, all of us have an opportunity to get some receptions and an opportunity to assist our workforce, assist our quarterbacks out, and I believe we’ve completed that. I imply, I believe our receiver room could be very deep, a variety of simply nice athletes in there and a variety of guys that need to see different folks succeed. I imply, after I scored a landing, Kam Brown was one of many first folks that got here as much as me—he wasn’t even taking part in and he got here as much as me, was so comfortable for me, the identical for Michael Churich. They’re each simply actually comfortable for me and I believe that camaraderie, all of us collectively, we’ve got a extremely tight workforce this season, we’ve completed a variety of workforce bonding issues and I believe this is likely one of the closest groups I’ve been part of, which is superior.
Scholarship and landing offer you confidence in observe right now?
Scroll to Proceed
Um, I imply, I prefer to suppose I’m fairly assured in myself always, I imply, issues occur all through observe and the sport, like, you’ll have a nasty play right here and there, however coach Kelly all the time challenges us to compete with your self, so my problem on daily basis goes on the market and getting 1% higher—we all the time discuss getting 1% higher, so going on the market, getting 1% higher on daily basis, even within the weight room with coach Diamond, they push us on daily basis to get 1% higher, even like we’ve got a brand new—he’s our meals man and he helps us too, he put me on brie cheese. I by no means had it earlier than but it surely’s been serving to me out with like antioxidants or one thing, I don’t know. That’s simply our objective on daily basis—prepare, gas, recuperate, 1% on daily basis, that’s been the objective.
Good for you?
I assume so, that’s what he put me on, in order that’s one of many issues that I’ve been doing. You’d have to speak to him about it, I’m not tremendous clear on all of the stuff like that, however he’s been nice, I imply, they’ve all been nice with hydration and every little thing, I don’t know in the event you noticed on the recreation we had like tents with followers going, they had been actually on high of their stuff with hydration and maintaining us good for that recreation so nobody actually had cramps or something, in order that was superior.
Dulcich drafted, Fernea on Colts’ observe squad, guys getting scholarships final week – how necessary is walk-on tradition to UCLA tradition?
I believe it’s essential as a result of one factor about coach Kelly, I believe he treats walk-ons right here just a little bit completely different than different colleges. Normally, you go to a different college and also you don’t hear an excessive amount of about their walk-ons and stuff, however that was one of many first issues he advised me after I wished to return right here is, I’m going to provide you an opportunity to return in right here and compete and I believe that that motivation that he offers us feeds into the way in which that we play and we observe and like I mentioned, everybody has a job right here and also you see a variety of walk-ons come by means of right here and get scholarships and simply develop into higher right here simply because we acquired a chance and getting these stay reps, moving into there and simply competing, I imply, on the finish of the day we’re all only a workforce, you recognize? It’s arduous to inform. Like, in the event you ask a few of the transfers, they don’t actually know who’s on scholarship and who’s a walk-on as a result of everybody will get handled the identical and we simply attempt to preserve it that method simply being a workforce collectively and stuff.
Significance of taking part in an HBCU?
I believe for us, our most important precedence each week is, we take each opponent the identical and go into each recreation like we see all people as the identical workforce, like even when we’re taking part in Alabama or we’re taking part in an HBCU workforce, I believe all of us put together to be our greatest model of ourselves and I believe that’s the objective this complete season. Coach Kelly mentioned after the sport that he hoped that final recreation was our worst recreation as a result of each recreation we need to preserve bettering clearly and simply get higher each recreation, so I believe that’s the principle objective, simply keep true to the trail that we’re on and preserve getting higher each week and simply have a look at each opponent the identical as a result of who is aware of what might occur. I imply, each workforce’s a workforce, all of us play soccer and we’ve got as a lot respect for anybody that we play, in order that’s [inaudible].
Go searching at an empty Rose Bowl?
Um, I didn’t actually see an excessive amount of. I imply, we don’t actually pay an excessive amount of consideration to that. I imply, clearly it was a scorching day outdoors, so it’s robust being on the market. My mother and father needed to sit in just a little sales space up within the high, fortunately Michael’s mother and father helped them out and I do know I do know it’s a scorching recreation and stuff. We love our followers, we clearly need them to be there, we respect all of them which might be on the market within the warmth, too. I do know being on the market with pads is hard however being on the market sitting within the warmth, I simply know needed to be robust for them, so I’m certain our followers will come round and provides us the assist that we would like and any assist from them is every little thing that we would like too, I imply, it was nice.
Graduate within the spring?
I prolonged my commencement to the autumn. I’m an Econ main, so a few of the lessons don’t precisely match up, so a few of the lessons I’ve to take are within the mornings when we’ve got observe and we will’t try this due to observe, so I prolonged mine to the autumn, so I’m planning to graduate within the fall.
Graduate college after?
It’s undoubtedly an possibility, yeah. I’ve yet another yr of eligibility, so we’ll see how this yr goes and I’m undoubtedly trying into it probably, yeah.
Comply with Connon on Twitter at @SamConnon
Comply with All Bruins on Twitter at @SI_AllBruins
Like All Bruins on Fb at @SI.AllBruins
Subscribe to All Bruins on YouTube
Learn extra UCLA tales: UCLA Bruins on Sports activities Illustrated
Learn extra UCLA soccer tales: UCLA Soccer on Sports activities Illustrated