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Kayvon Thibodeaux: 'The mindset is almost completely different'

October 16, 2020

Kayvon Thibodeaux

On offseason workouts

“In the offseason I was back home with my family so I was really doing home workouts--push ups. We didn't really have weights like that so we were just doing deck of cards, anything. I was at Dorsey high school, I did a couple of workouts there at the park. It's just been all parks, Rancho park in LA is kind of the one I went to the most. I was just out there, me and one of my high school coaches and we were just grinding every day.”

On improving from freshman year to now

“For me it's been getting bigger physically, I've kind of toned my body. I'm in the 250- 255 range right now. Also playing smarter, actually reading between the lines and and learning the coverages and a lot of things I didn't know coming out of high school.”

On going against elite competition like Penei Sewell

“What I could say about Penei-- he gave me that confidence, and every day I knew I had to go against the best guy in the country, So once I did that every day, I could go against anybody. Now coming into this year, I have all confidence going in on every play,”

On how the defense has helped him develop

“When I first came in, it was like pass rush, pass rush, pass rush, sacks, sacks, sacks.  I had this one thing in mind, but when you really realize it, you gotta be a four down player. You gotta be able to be there all the time. 

“For me, learning coverage, being just as good  in run downs as I am in pass downs. You gotta  have the whole package if you want to be a great player. Once I realized that, that's kind of been my mantra, doing everything, and the little things.”

On goals for sophomore season

“In the beginning I wanted 10 sacks a season. And I realized how immature that was, you know, and how like 10 sacks that's that's cute. Now it's like, I want to be 100% on my grades, 100% on my alignment, assignment and technique. Doing it every down and I'm mentally prepared, I'm physically prepared, I'm not tired.”

Mycah Pittman

On navigating #WeAreUnited with teammates

“We worked it in many ways, we all have respect for one another. I know my teammates and they have values, everyone views things in different ways and I understand that. I wasn't trying to come at my teammates, I wasn't trying to come at guys who opt out.”

“I just love football and I just really wanted to play. Some guys had different views on health issues and stuff like that so everyone needs reassurance and my teammates they needed that and I respected it. I didn't think anything about how they came across it.”

On playing with Justin Herbert and lessons learned

“It helped me a lot. He kind of helped me become a veteran now. Having that playing time and being out there. As a young buck I was just really antsy and just wanted the ball the time, but I understand now it's concepts and schemes and stuff like that that's going to get me the rock.”

“I'm understanding coverages way more. B Mac (Brian McClendon) and stuff he's definitely one of the best coaches I've ever been around so grateful for him. Really just having that playtime my freshman year helped me become a veteran, now I feel like I'm not making freshman mistakes, not making those little things that I used to make.”

On Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown

“Both very talented quarterbacks, I love them both. I'm just very thankful that I'm spoiled to have them both in my life, throwing me the rock. I know it's gonna be a competition. Ever since day one since I've been here, Cristobal has been very advocate about competition and he loves bringing competition into the room and stuff like that. I just can't wait to watch those guys compete and I love them both they're both great quarterbacks and I have a good relationship with the both of them.”

On starting a YouTube channel

“My brother kind of inspired me. He has around 300,000 subscribers, and he's been kind of a motivator in showing me the way--you know building your own brand is basically key in your life. You want to inspire others. My goal and making that YouTube was inspiring other kids.”

“I obviously can't make any money due to NCAA regulations and when that rule changes I obviously will like to but I don't know when that rule will happen. I really just do it for younger kis because I kind of wish I had a person that would make a YouTube video show me like a day in the life and show me that kind of insider scoop. But I don't show everything, obviously because Cristobal is very strict on that and I'm very strict on that and respecting my teammates and respecting my coaches and understanding, my leeway with the YouTube channel.”

Mycah’s Youtube Channel

On offensive unit

“This unit is very explosive, very fast. There's going to be a lot of new things thrown at you guys that you guys will kind of be surprised at: positions and stuff like that. It'll be really interesting to see how everything goes. I really love this offense. I literally know every single position, every single route, every single concept.”

“Credit to B Mac, and credit to Coach Moorhead, they’ve definitely been on me about learning every single position and stuff like that. It just allows us receivers to be on the field as much as possible and leave the best guys on the field, as much as possible.”

Hunter Kampmoyer

On tight ends in Joe Moorhead’s offense

“Explosive plays.Using us in the run game with blocking and stuff. It's creating a lot more opportunities for us to get the ball. We're all excited about that.”

On transitioning to tight end during career

“It’s kind of crazy. I was recruited  to play outside linebacker, and then right when I got here, I had to switch to defensive end. I did that for two years and switched to tight end. It’s been a crazy journey, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. But I'm thankful to be in the position I'm in. I'm excited for this season.”

On progression of tight end group

“We've all been working really hard on our ball skills and receiving, route running, all that kind of stuff. Everybody's made great strides: Spencer, Pat (Herbert), DJ, Tyler Nanney and Cooper (Shults), Cam (McCormick), everybody's made great strides. We're all heading in the right direction.”

On what’s changed about the program since his freshman year

“The culture--that's the biggest thing. Cristobal has done a great job. Everybody's bought in the program, the culture, and everything that he's instilled. It's obviously been working for us and we're excited to continue to make strides in the right direction and we all want to go have high goals and we're doing everything we can to achieve that. But I'd say definitely the biggest thing has been the culture.”

On helping DJ Johnson transition to tight end

“I give him every advice I can. Coming from defense we have physicality, we love blocking, we love hitting and stuff. You see that DJ is a crazy athlete and so you know he's gonna be a great tight end. It's already shown at practice and stuff. I'm there for him and I've been helping him along the way through the transition.”

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