Sept. 8, 2007
Today's game marks the first of six final chances for the Bruin seniors to take to the Rose Bowl field for the last time in their UCLA careers. For receivers Brandon Breazell, Joe Cowan and Marcus Everett, this game is just the first in many towards the team's goal of a Pac-10 title. The senior year for any athlete is not only a chance to go out with a bang, but a time to reminisce, lead and prove doubters wrong. For this trio of receivers the time has come to do it all.
"This whole season is in our hands and it's exciting to know that," said Cowan. "We can do whatever we want with it and that goal is to win the Pac-10 Championship. We are going to finish our careers in a glorious fashion."
"I've been so anxious to get out there and play since the bowl game," added Everett. "We have a great opportunity to do great things this year and we are going to take full advantage of that."
The past few years for these receivers have been rocky with injuries, family loss, team highs and lows and coaching changes, but the trio has never wavered in the job that needs to get done - succeeding. Some may say that a constantly changing coaching staff can hinder a team, but Breazell, Cowan and Everett feel nothing but positivity can come from the variations in coaches.
"It really helps you grow up faster," noted Cowan. "You take more responsibility for your game. It's a reality check because the coaches aren't the one's playing, the players are. It's on our back and in our hands to do what we want to do on the field come Saturday."
"It's a complete advantage to have changes," added Everett. "You can take a little from each coach and put it all together to mold into your own player. Every coach teaches different things, has different philosophies. If you take something from each, you ultimately learn a lot more."
"The more techniques you are exposed to by different coaches creates more well-rounded players," said Breazell.
As seniors who have experienced it all, the younger generation of Bruins constantly looks to them for advice and guidance. With a team comprised of 25 seniors, it's no doubt that a wise and knowledgeable class is ready to dole out the advice.
"I just tell the young guys to meet the people on the team and form bonds with them. There are people from all walks of life and when those friendships are made, the team will mesh better and be more cohesive," said Cowan.
"You have to be prepared," noted Everett. "If you're prepared, you'll be successful in the game. If you're not prepared, you'll fail. You also have to buy into the system and trust in it and the coaches."
Breazell adds to "have the mentality that you want to be the greatest. Come in and act like you are ready to play right off the bat because you never know when someone might go down and your number is called."
As these seniors take to the field for the final run of their careers, glory and success are in the forefront of their minds. At the end of it all, a Pac-10 title is the gold pot at the end of the rainbow.