What's the Price for a solid defensive tackle?
By Joe Fortenbaugh and Wes Bunting:
There’s no denying that the 2010 draft boasts one of the most talent-rich classes in NFL history. To get an idea how well-stocked this group of future NFL starters is, look no further than the defensive tackle position, which could see as many as six players selected in the first round.
One of those future starters is UCLA’s Brian Price.
The 6-1, 303-pounder decided to forgo his senior season with the Bruins to make the jump to the next level. But after an impressive junior campaign in Los Angeles in which the 21-year-old recorded 43 stops (36 solo) and seven sacks, Price knows there’s always room for improvement in his game.
“I’m still young and I’ve got a lot to learn. I still have a lot of developing to do,” Price told us during a recent podcast. “Every year I’ve played football, I’ve been getting better, and that’s my goal -- to get better every year.”
For you die-hard college football fans out there, you may remember Price as the maniac who wanted to prove a point to the media and his teammates last Dec. 29, when the Bruins took on Temple in the EagleBank Bowl in Washington D.C.
Leading up to the game, many doubted UCLA’s ability to play in the cold weather on the East Coast. To prove it wasn’t an issue, Price went through pregame warm-ups with no shirt on.
The temperature at kickoff was 32 degrees, with the wind chill of 19.
“A lot of people in the media were talking about that they don’t know if we can handle the cold, and Temple is going to win because they’re used to the weather, Price recalled. “Well, if I’m cold out there, I’m pretty sure the other team is cold, too.”
After trailing 21-7 in the first half, UCLA came back to win 30-21. Price recorded five tackles in the victory.
“I don’t care if you play in it [cold weather] all the time. If you’re cold, you’re cold,” Price said. “I just wanted to go out and prove to people that I really don’t care about weather and that I can play anywhere.”
A one-gapper with an explosive first step and impressive bull-rush, Price spent most of his college career as the focal point of opposing offenses’ game plans. As a result, he’s no stranger to the double-team.
“It’s a challenge,” he said. “You’ve got to push yourself. I said I would not be denied. That’s just my mindset. I don’t like people holding me back from making plays.”
The next play the big defensive tackle makes could be an impressive one, as Price hopes to hear his name called during the first round of next week’s NFL Draft.