UCLA football edge rusher Bo Calvert spoke to the media after the Bruins’ first session of fall camp on Friday. Calvert reflected on the growth of the program over the past five years, discussed a recent beach trip with the rest of the defense, detailed the additions of defensive coordinator Bill McGovern and outside linebackers coach Ikaika Malloe, and shared how the 2021 Holiday Bowl has been canceled by the Bruins on the road to success this autumn.
Thinking about how it’s your last first day, memories and meaning of it all?
Yeah I’ve definitely been thinking about it, just this whole off-season leading up to it. All the different guys I’ve played with here, memories I’ve made, the evolution of the program, where we’ve come from so far, the kind of guys we have now, changes in the coaching staff. You know, college football, there’s so much upheaval — fluctuations — every year and just to be able to be here, to be blessed to still be playing on this field, that’s a blessing. There’s been a lot of hard times here, but also a lot of good times, so it’s just good to be out here.
Dorian’s development since the first day you met him?
I think Dorian has always done a pretty good job of how he comes here and works. He played very early – I’d like to say it was either the first game or the second game of our freshman year, Wilton Speight got injured and Dorian just had to be thrown in and he’s been playing ever since. How many guys can do that, especially at quarterback, especially on a big power five program? So it just shows what kind of guy he is. He came here to play quarterback, it was only his third year as a quarterback, and he was starting his freshman year with the first game. Aside from that, he obviously just works his cock off and comes in, gets down to it. He has now done a really good job with the guys on the team just sharing the love he gets from all these NIL deals he gets. Any growth he makes financially, he gives back to the team here, so it’s really cool to have a guy like that. Some guys just keep all their money and then there are guys like Dorian who take them on trips and that’s great to have a guy like that.
Missed Dorian’s boat ride because of the crime?
I was a little taken aback. I sent a little funny message to all defenders the other day. I went to the beach just beforehand just to kind of celebrate summer’s over with some of the defensive guys. I made a video and I was like, “Hey, all the defenders rented the beach.” But yeah, we just had fun with it. It was funny, Dorian took out all the offensive guys. The defense was a bit salty because of that, but it’s all good.
Kirkwood brought donuts?
Yes, Devin brought donuts. They were pretty good, I ate like three of them. Big donut dude, they were good.
They were just glazed and then sprinkled. yes they were good
NIL Leader in Defense?
Scroll to Next
I don’t know, you’d have to ask the boys about that. But there’s a decent number of people who sign with sports agents and whatnot, which is crazy to say. Like I heard my freshman year was obviously illegal but there are so many guys now that have different offers and whatnot. And to be in LA and to be able to play with this market and to have all the possibilities here, of course with Nike and Jordan to represent that. I think it offers a lot of opportunities that not many other schools have.
Reaction to the return of Dorian?
Yes, I was pumped. Me and Dorian are in the same class. We’ve all been trying to figure out, obviously at the end of each season everyone’s trying to figure out what they’re going to do next year, what the team is going to be like, who’s staying, all that stuff. Obviously when we started getting some of the parts back we brought in some newer people to help us fill some of the vacancies. Being able to have all those spots back there and being able to have a seasoned quarterback like Dorian is a big difference and being able to have those key spots that we had, I think we have a really solid squad and it’s going to be a good year.
Better Chess Player – You or Dorian?
Definitely Dorian. Dorian spends much more time playing chess. I just kinda have fun with it kinda fooling around. But Dorian is very serious about it. man, he’s very good. He takes his time. There’s a lot of guys that play chess, it’s kinda funny. There are a lot of very smart guys on the team, seriously, and there are a lot of guys who are very competitive, so there are some chess games that turn out pretty serious in the dressing room.
Biggest change Bill McGovern brought about?
I would say that professional mindset. He just walks in and really treats us like a professional program. The pre-season camp was run very much like a pro camp. So just being able to come in and just blame guys for themselves. We have a lot of really good people, as I mentioned, on the team who… with other programs you kind of have to coddle the guys or at least just be there and take care of them all the time. You don’t have to worry about that here. Lots of people who are at the peak of their jobs getting everything they need to get done and then some. So I think that’s something very special. And to be able to combine that with an experienced coach like Coach McGovern will help us a lot.
Consistency from spring to today?
Yes, I think we laid a good foundation in the spring. We brought many pieces and Coach Malloe would often take us out to dinner, bringing us closer together as a group. We hung out and did things together and it’s special to have such a coach and a group of guys who really care about each other. Obviously this is a competitive game and the guys are always struggling to climb up the charts but to be able to have a group of guys who really care about you and have selfless guys always giving you coaching points and so on give and are. Not there to tear you down but to lift you up, that’s a special bond and that’s something we take from here and will have for the rest of our lives to be able to have the bonds that we’ve built . To be able to have that support system, especially as a man, to be able to have other men around you who can work really hard and be there for you, it’s amazing.
Difficult to cancel bowl game?
Obviously it was tough. I mean it was tough for everyone to come in just before the game and have it, kind of realizing that we weren’t going to be able to be there and all the things that led to that. Of course we had a great season. And looking back, I’m able to cherish those memories, but I’m looking forward to going into next season and going to another bowl game and getting it again, and I’m confident that we will will make it. But yeah excited for this year and obviously last year was what it was, we had a great season but looking forward to riding after that this year.
Read more UCLA stories: UCLA Bruins on Sports Illustrated
Read more UCLA football stories: UCLA Football on Sports Illustrated