June 28, 2000
Wow, can you believe that our first game is only 68 days away? I can1t wait to strap on the pads on September 2nd and play Alabama. By the way, my name is Ryan Nece, also known as No. 47 on the UCLA defense. I am entering my fourth year of football with the highest expectations because our team has the potential of doing some really great things this year. But before we even start playing as a team, we must condition and train our bodies at a very intense level. That is what our summer running and lifting program is for.
I have been given a great opportunity to update our fans each week on what the team is doing this summer to get ready for this tremendous football season that is quickly approaching. As we all know, it1s what a team does in the off-season that is a true sign of how the team is going to do in the upcoming season. I thought this would be a great idea for our fans to get an up close and personal look at this year1s UCLA football team - through the eyes of one of the players. I hope to give you an understanding of what players are doing both on and off the field. I also plan to conduct several interviews with certain players on our team so that you can see how each individual is preparing for the season. One of our team mottos is, that "you need to start fast and finish strong". This year we are traveling on the road to a national championship and the start of the road is our summer conditioning program, this is why we need to start fast so we can finish strong at the end.
Here is a quick background check on myself so you have a better understanding on who I am. I was raised in San Bernardino, CA where I attended Pacific High School. There, I competed in football, basketball and track.. I was also able to be active in school honor clubs and maintain a 4.4 GPA. As I look back, I remember falling in love with UCLA the first time I stepped onto the campus. It has everything that a person would want - great weather, a high-level of academics, an awesome athletic program, and great fans. I will also never forget the first time I stepped onto the practice field. At first, I was a little intimidated, but as practice wore on I felt right at home playing the sport I love. And from that first day on the practice field, I knew that God gave me my athletic ability to use to its fullest ability for the UCLA BRUINS. Thus, every day I promise myself that I am going to use this God-given talent to the maximum level because I owe it to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, and everything that represents UCLA.
Today was our first day of lifting and running, and let me tell you, it was no walk in the park. Not only has over 95% of our team stayed here at school during the summer, but they are also attending summer school and working part time jobs all over Los Angeles. During the summer, I work with young kids to help develop their athletic skills and give them an insight on what it really takes to be a student/athlete at the college level. I have a great time working with the kids, but it can also be very challenging because every kid is at a different level when it comes to their skills, and also each kid has their own way in which they like to be motivated.
As we worked out today, there was an energy that was very positive, and everyone could feel what the other players were feeling. Every player is so excited to start getting ready to play. Everyone1s enthusiasm was at a very high level. This is the type of energy we need day in and day out, and I know we are going to be able to do that because this team has great chemistry, and no one wants to let a brother (teammate) down.
I hope that the fans are as excited as the players because this is going to be a great year for UCLA football. So please check my notes each week to get a candid camera view of the UCLA football team.