WATCH: Matt Sykes on UCLA Replacing Production, Receiver Room

Heading into his third year in Westwood, Sykes could be tasked with making up for Kyle Philips, Greg Dulcich and Chase Cota’s departures.

UCLA football receiver Matt Sykes spoke to reporters following Tuesday morning’s fall camp session. Sykes talked about how the Bruins’ plan to replace Kyle Philips and Greg Dulcich, where he fits into the depth chart and what he’s picked up from talking to the referees brought into practice. 

Lots of lost production to make up for, how have guys stepped into those roles?

Yeah, we lost big guys like Kyle and Greg last year, but they set the standard for us, so we’re just trying to keep that, especially with guys like Titus and Bobo as leadership coming in. And they’ve done a good job of keeping that bar real high, so I feel like we’ve had a good few first weeks of camp and I’m excited to see what we can do coming up this year.

Your role expanding?

Yeah, I feel real comfortable. It’s my third year, my third camp, and I feel just confident with the offense and I’m just trying to produce where I can. Whether it’s blocking, whether it’s being a deep threat, anything I can do to just help us get first downs and help us win?

Do you just work with Neuheisel to practice blocking or do you also hear from Faris or Drevno?

Um, not with coach Drevno, but we pick up tips in our team, in our unit meetings with how to block and different techniques. And we’re just working on it every day in the right place, so with repetition, I feel like it gets easier.

Talk to the practice refs about things at the line?

Yeah, you know, just getting on the ball, whether you’re on, whether you’re off. And then certain things when you’re going against a DB, like on 1-on-1s, whether you can push off on them and stuff like that, just trying to make sure that we’re staying within the rules. But it’s good to have them out here.

Running game a big factor, but what do you see from the passing game this year?

I think it’ll be a big surprise for people this year. You know, I feel like, after last year, with guys like Greg and Kyle leaving, people don’t know what’s gonna be happening this year, but we’ve got a lot of guys that are hungry and we’ve got Dorian who’s coming into – I don’t know what year it is for him. But we’re all comfortable and I’m excited to see what kind of plays we make in the passing game this year.

Younger guys standing out?

I think all the young guys are coming in here and they’re working real hard. Guys like Braden, guys like Jadyn, just coming in every day, giving their best. They’ve got great talent, great speed and they’ve got great futures ahead of them, for sure.

Aware of or part of this NIL deal being teased?

Um, not a part of it, but I know it’s not announced yet so I don’t really wanna speak on that.

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