UCLA to star on all-access show ‘The Drive’ this fall
LOS ANGELES — UCLA football is on the map, and the inner workings of the program are coming to a TV screen near you.
Beginning in September, UCLA will be the subject of season two of "The Drive," a documentary series on the Pac-12 Networks featuring an exclusive, all-access look into UCLA’s football program.
Cameras will follow athletes and coaches on the field, in the locker rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms and in the dorms — sometimes — as the Bruins look to secure a spot in the Pac-12 title game for the third time in four seasons.
"Being part of ‘The Drive’ is obviously a great way to showcase the program that we have been building here at UCLA," said head coach Jim Mora. "But more importantly, this is an opportunity for our student-athletes to be part of a show that is dedicated to highlighting their hard work and effort."
Mora adds that the show will be about more than just football, it also sheds light on what it’s like being a student-athlete in a high-profile program.
"It not easy to juggle being a student at UCLA in a social setting like Los Angeles and playing for a major college football program like UCLA," he said. "There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into it, and with this access, (fans) will have a better understanding and a better appreciation of what these young men put into their Saturdays and into being successful as student-athletes."
The series will consist of 15 30-minute episodes and will air 3-5 days after filming each week, giving fans a realistic glimpse into the grind of college football.
"It gives a nice little insight into what we go through," said star linebacker Myles Jack, who Mora said will continue to see time on offense. "On Saturdays you guys just see the games, us playing and out there making it happen, but there’s a deeper story to it and I’m excited to be a part of this."
Jack also says that it’s not all work and no play, fans will also get to see a lighter side of the Bruins.
"We have all different kinds of characters you’ll see: the comedians, we got the pretty boys, we got the emotional guys, we got the guys that cut hair.
As for the constant camera presence, having editorial control eases Mora’s fears of giving opponents a leg up on the Bruins.
"We have complete, 100 percent editorial control so nothing will go on the network that I haven’t approved," he said. "And if something goes on the network that I haven’t approved, then that’ll be the last show."
Mora, who adds that the footage will be captured by UCLA cameramen, also insists his team is ready for the limelight the show might bring.
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) April 28, 2014
"These guys live in a digital world," he says. "Heck there’s cameras in Brett (Hundley’s) face almost 24/7, they get used to it.
"I have a lot of confidence that these guys will handle it right. We’re a young football team, but we’re a mature football team … we’re a focused football team."
Despite the buzz the Bruins have generated the last two seasons that will surely be intensified with the show, they still remain focused on their quest to national prominence.
"We haven’t arrived yet," said Jack. "We’re up and coming and we’re just going to take (this season) one game at a time."
Added Hundley: "As long as we handle our business, all the other stuff will fall into place."