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Q&A with Gabe Crecion
By: UCLA Athletics

Oct. 24, 2000

By Marisa N.Schwertfeger

Progression is a term not to be taken lightly, especially in the case of senior Gabe Crecion. Since he became a Bruin in 1995, Crecion has steadily increased his role on the team, culminating in his current position as the No. 1 tight end on the team. Crecion made his way into UCLA football like a sleeping giant. He missed the first two games of his freshman season due to a stress reaction in his foot. But once he did come back, against Michigan, he was set to impact the team. In the past years, Crecion has made big plays when the Bruins have needed them. Gabe Crecion is now ready to have the season of his life.

Having come off of a 4-7 season, how does it feel to be 4-1 and to have already defeated two 3rd ranked teams?
It feels great to have started this season so successfully. It's a great accomplishment this team has made. We've made some great strides since last season. Going into the remaining six games of the season, our goal is to be victorious. We want to end this season 11-1.

As one of the seniors, what are your personal and team goals for this season?
My personal goal is to lead this team to an 11-1 finish. Another goal that I have is to be one of the better, if not the best, tight ends in the Pac-10 and to move forward from there. As for the team goal, it is to go 11-1.

Who has influenced you the most in your style of play?
Coach Gary Bernardi has influenced me the most in football. Whatever habits I picked up in high school, he corrected them so that I could become a better player. I've learned from what he's taught me and I try to emulate him. I try to put whatever he's taught me to good use when I'm on the field.

Why did you choose to attend UCLA?
Other than the obvious reason why I chose to attend UCLA, the strong football program and academics, I chose to come to UCLA because of the weather. When I went on the recruiting trips, it was always cold. Then, I'd come back here and it would be 80 degrees. We have great football weather all year long.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I don't know what I'll be doing. I plan to pursue a career in the NFL, but after that, I'm not yet sure what I will be doing.

When you aren't playing football, what do you like to do? What are your hobbies?
I like to do what everyone else does. Basically, I like to hang out with my friends, spend time with my family and talk with my brothers. In the summer, I like to water ski and watch baseball.

Who has been your favorite opponent?
My favorite opponent has been Michigan. I always love playing them. I love their tradition. Whether they play at home or away, they always bring a great team and a great crowd. It creates a great environment for playing football.

What are your fondest memories of playing for UCLA?
My fondest memories have been the friendships that I've made throughout the five years that I've been here. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Being out on this field is an opportunity that most people never get and I've been very fortunate to have it.

What made you decide to stay at UCLA and play football after being drafted by the New York Yankees in 1998? Why did you choose football over baseball?
I stayed for the chance to finish school and to pursue something that I knew would challenge me. It would be a greater challenge for myself to see if I could stay and do it. I was a two sport athlete my first two years and then I had to make decision about which one I was going to do. I wasn't being my best in either of the sports. I was spending too much time on one or the other and I wasn't focusing enough on either. So I had to decide which one to stay with and I decided that it was football.

How would you like to be remembered once your UCLA career has ended?
I want to be remembered as one of the best tight ends coming out of UCLA.I also want to be remembered as a hard worker and someone who put all of my effort out on the field. Aside from football, I also want to be remembered as a nice man, a great man.

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