Paul Mociler, the redshirt senior offensive lineman, has a lot to look back
in his experience of playing football at UCLA.
In your UCLA career, what are some of the moments that stand out?
What have been the most rewarding, and the most trying?
"The most trying have been the last four years. I had a lot of struggles. I'm
glad ultimately I perserved and stuck through it. I've had a very memorable
senior season. I think this season, as a whole, I have a lot of great memories
from it. That Washington game was something special. Then going to Oregon, and
winning there. We ran 12:54 off the clock in the fourth quarter. That was huge.
It's just one of those things you take pride in, as a lineman. Those are things
that linemen take to heart. Drew getting 322 yards against Washington. In that
game we ran 7 minutes off the game off the clock at the end of the game. We
should have ended the game with the ball in our hands as well, but the ref made
a bad call. But some of those types of things, typical linemen things. If Drew
had a good game, then we had a good game. If Chris Markey has a good game, or
Manuel White has a good game, we had a good game. So it's been good. This past
year has been fun. In year's past, I enjoyed traveling. I enjoyed going to
Alabama, and playing in Tuscaloosa. It was a lot of fun, just that experience.
Going to play at Oklahoma, and at Oklahoma State, Illinois, and Colorado."
Was coming back from your injury pretty trying?
"That actually wasn't as bad. I blew out my knee in the last game of my
senior season in high school. I ended up being cleared by fall camp entering my
freshman year in college. It was about 9 months of a rehab process. That was
pretty impressive, considering I wasn't here at UCLA yet, and didn't have the
UCLA resources, for rehab treatment and things like that. That was a big
accomplishment for me. It was trying then to get here and not really playing
well. That was the most trying thing, not feeling like I was contributing."
Were there some moments in there you might never turn it around. When you
finally found your place and were successful that must have been pretty
"Oh, absolutely. Even last year it was better. But then in the last season,
entering the season knowing I was starting, knowing because I worked hard in the
off-season, knowing I was going to get a shot, that was big. I was still excited
about last season. It didn't turn out right because of a certain amount of
factors involved. But it was a growing experience, a life experience, that I
really benefitted from. Then having (offensive line (coach) Tom Cable come in
and he's just really rejuvenated this offense and this offensive line. I think
he's been the biggest asset for this team. He's a phenomenal coach and extremely
knowledgeable about the game in every aspect, just not techniques. He knows how
to play the game, and knows what it takes at the college level."
Was your father's health issues pretty tough also?
"Yeah, I had some personal issues. My dad became very ill. He was in
intensive care for a couple of weeks, just a couple of weeks before I blew out
my knee in high school."
It was a couple of years for him to recover, right?
"Oh, yeah. He still has issues. Originally it was his gall bladder had a
couple of stones, that blocked a bile duct, and all of his bile duct backed up.
And he got septisemia, which is a poisoning of the blood. So he got rushed to
urgent care and he was stablized. They said he was this close to leaving us. He
was also diabetic and his diabetes then flared up badly. He had a crippled
diaphragm after leaving the hospital. I guess it's very rare for both sides of
the diaphragm to be crippled. So he had a very shortness of breath. This
happened mostly my senior year in high school, but it went on through college.
For six months he couldn't sleep lying down, and had to sleep in a chair,
because that was the best way he could breathe. But football kind of
offered a chance to go out on the field and focus on something else. Thankfully
my dad made it through. He still has some things here and there. A few
months back he had to go on antibiotic IV."
Were there other off-the-field things?
"This last spring I actually became a father. It was a huge experience in my
life, obviously. His name is Lucas and he's almost eight months old now. The
mother was a high school girlfriend of mine. Things are good now, but things
were extremely hard, extremely stressful for a while. I actually found out she
was pregnant right after the first game of the year last year, after the
Colorado game. So it was very trying. My son's a wonderful little kid. He's a
Is he big for his age?
"Yeah. You know, when he was born he was average size. I get to see him about
once a week. They leave near my parents house, and my parents watch him a few
times a week. I'm glad my family is around him, and I try to see him as much as
I can. Every time I see him he looks like he's grown another foot. He's up
to about 20 pounds and 28 inches. He's getting big."
What's your opinion of the program, from when you first got here to
"I think the program's definitely headed in the right direction. When I got
here they were coming off a couple of trying years, but they did have a few very
successful years. That's why I came here, to be successful, and win a Pac-10
championship and a national championship. Unfortunately those trying years
continued to persist. As to why I'm not really sure. Since (Head) Coach (Karl)
Dorrell is here, he's changed things. He really has his heart in this program.
He's really trying to instill tradition, pride and commitment, and
accountability. I think that's really what this program needed. It needed some
responsibility and maturity to it. I think that's what he's trying to instill.
And I think that's what coach Cable brings also. He's someone who is responsible
and can develop players mentally and physically. I think he knows when to press
guys and when not to. I think we're on an upswing right now. Yeah, we went
through some speed bumps this year. But we're on our way to breaking out and
getting over the hump. The sky's the limit for this program now."
Is it in a better spot than anytime you've been here?
"Probably. My second year when DeShaun Foster was here for his senior season,
we had a phenomenal year. We were second or third in the rankings. It was such a
phenomenal year, but the team fell apart at the end. And that's happened again
in the last three years. I think that's the difference between the program now
and then. We have more commitment, more accountability, to the team, coaches and
to each other. I think that's what's pushing us further. There are still things
the program has to work on. But in that regard, I think we're in a much better
Where are you academically?
"I should just have two classes next quarter. Just those two and I'm done.
Spanish and a U.S. History class. I'm a history major. After that I have two
directions. I'll first try to pursue football as much as I can. I'll talk to my
coaches after the season and see what kind of opportunities lie there.
Otherwise, I'd like to pursue firefighting. I'd like to get my certification and
work at parademic training. Ultimately I'd like to be a firefighter. I would
also love to travel. As soon as I find some time, my sister and I are going to
go to Europe."
So, in a nutshell, what are some of the few things you'll remember the
"I'll remember the struggles, definitely. But more important I'll remember
overcoming them. That's a big deal, you know. Coach Cable always says that
football is so great because it's a game that mimics life. I never really
understood that when he first said it. I always thought football was just
punishment. But this past year, seeing how this game can be, and how you can
enjoy it, it's changed my perspective on the game. It really does have all the
ups and downs, struggles and triumphs of life."