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Cal Football

Bear Insider Video: Cal DL Nate Burrell and Ricky Correia

October 22, 2022

So far this season, redshirt soph nose tackle Ricky Correia and frosh defensive end Nate Burrell have played key roles on the Cal D-line, particularly with injuries to several key players and starters.

Both feel the weight of needing to overcome one of the most disappointing losses in recent memory with the 3-3/1-2 Bears’ upset overtime loss to Colorado last weekend but the duo is determined to help get the season back on track, starting again with tonight’s contest with 5-2/2-2 Washington at Memorial Stadium.

”We’ve got a lot to play for,” said Correia. “Coach Wilcox tells us that every day. So you just gotta come out here just get 1% better every day. We can't dwell on the past. It hurts that it happened, but we’ve just gotta be better and come out here and fix some things and just grind for what we want. It's just coming out here with the mindset that we're getting better each day.”

“Yeah, like Rick and Coach Wilcox say every day, we still have the same goal, the Pac-12 championship. We still want to win every game possible each weekend to put us in the best position to succeed and have as long a season as possible. So really just getting here, being better, working on what we need to work on.

After a particularly, it can often be difficult to keep a team together and dissention can sometimes set in but by all appearances, the team has staved off those negative emotions.

“After the game, of course, it really took a toll on the plane ride back and stuff,” noted Correia. “It was not what we wanted. But overall, we all know we're fighting for the same goal. We're all just trying to work to get back to where we need to be and where we know we can be as a team. So all the guys know that and it's just like we said, we’ve just gotta keep working. We can't dwell on anything that happened, so we just gotta keep that mindset that we're just moving forward.”

“Yep. Just moving forward, like Rick said,” added Burrell. “We know what we can do as a defense and an offensive unit. So it did hurt us, but at the end of the day, we still are just trying to get the farthest we can, like I said before.

After struggling with injuries in high school and in his first two seasons at Cal, Correia has finally put together a stretch where he’s been healthy since spring, perhaps aided by dropping weight and being in the best playing shape of his young career.

“Yeah, that's been a big thing for me,” noted Correia. “When I first came in I didn't play with the covid year at all. I was dealing with a whole bunch of other stuff. But you know, these past two seasons have been good for me for my development, just getting out there and playing the game I love. So it's been great to see that I'm able to stay healthy, and shout out to the strength staff, keeping me oiled up and ready to go. So that's a big thing for me, staying healthy. 

“I feel like I'm just able to play a little bit faster than I did last year. I'm just able to stay out there longer without having to come out for breaks and all that stuff. So that's been another big thing for me to work on and I'm still improving on that as well. So it's just a constant thing that I gotta work on and you know, it's been good so far.”

“Rick can move,” said Burrell with a smile.

Burrell came in as a highly-touted prep DE from national power St. John Bosco but with what on paper was a loaded defensive line, the possibility of redshirting or limited spot duty was always a possibility but with a boatload of key injuries, the 6-2/270 true frosh was pressed into duty and he’s acquitted himself well with 11 tackles and one QB hurry and an ability to often control the line of scrimmage.

“I thought I could play a couple reps here and there, you know, learn from my older guys like Rick, Brett Johnson, Darius, Ethan, and all those guys, Ieremiah. So yeah, I came in knowing I might get a couple snaps and unfortunately some injuries happened and I just had to step up in a role that the team needed me to. 

After being on the road their last two games with a bye week in between, it’s been a month since the Bears have worn the home jerseys at Memorial and are looking for the edge that playing at home can bring.

“Definitely, just being back at home in front of the crowd and our fans, we know that they're hyped for this game,” said Burrell. “They know we’ve got a lot to prove this week and they know that it's possible for us to do it, and we know that as well. So we are glad to be back here at home.”

“Yeah, definitely,” agreed Correia. “You know, being at home is always good, just playing where we're comfortable at. We know it’s gonna be a grind-it-out game, a tough game. But we’ve got some things in place this week, so we're gonna be pretty excited for our game. I know the guys are fired up cause after last week, we want to just get that bad taste outta our mouth and take it out on them. So it's gonna be a good week.”


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Bear Insider Video: Cal DL Nate Burrell and Ricky Correia

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