UCLA’s Quentin Lake ‘feels great’ to join Rams

LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – Quentin Lake doesn’t have to travel too far to see his NFL dream come true. Lake spent his college football career in Westwood playing for the UCLA Bruins.

Instead of finishing off his I-405 Freeway commute from Orange County, Lake can either detour his way to the US-101 Freeway and go up the road a little further to the Thousand Oaks area or make a move north.

Either way, Lake will have the luxury of staying put in the Southern California environment that he grew up in. And he’s plenty happy about that after being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams.

“Man, it feels great,” Lake said via Zoom. “It’s not too far from home, so it’s not that big of an adjustment going to a new place. I’m super excited to stay in L. A.; [to] stay with a familiar environment is awesome. It’s what I wished for.”

Sept. 4, 2021. Quentin Lake (37) celebrates the UCLA Bruins defensive unit making a big play against the LSU Tigers in 2021. Lake helped the Bruins defeat the Tigers, 38-27, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

The Rams selected Lake in the sixth round with the No. 211 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Lake is part of a Rams draft class that is heavy on the defensive end. Five of the eight draft picks the Rams had at their disposal, have a background on the defensive side of the football. Of the five, four are defensive backs.

As he talked about adding depth to his secondary and what each individual player brings to the table, Rams general manager Les Snead didn’t hide his enthusiasm for Lake, stating that the former Bruin “processes football, knows the geometry of the game…just plays it really well.”

“Quentin Lake is one of those guys that just knows how to play football,” Snead shared with reporters at the Rams Rocket Mortgage Draft House. “Obviously, probably there’s some DNA in that.”

If Lake plays anywhere close to how his father played his NFL career will be a success. Carnell Lake was a five-time Pro Bowl safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was selected to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade team. Like his son, the elder Lake attended and played his collegiate ball at UCLA.

Quentin Lake talked to reporters about what it’s like to walk down the same pathway as his dad.

Sept. 4, 2021. Quentin Lake (37) basking in the UCLA Bruins’ 38-27 nonconference win against the LSU Tigers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

“It’s awesome,” the younger Lake said. “I’m glad I had a father figure like that because he definitely laid the groundwork. Although I am following in his footsteps, in terms of you know, of going into the NFL and playing in the NFL, I think the biggest thing for me is now I have an opportunity to form my own legacy, which is going to be amazing.”

“Obviously, he’s a resource that I’ve used throughout my college career and has been great, but now it’s time for me to shine,” Lake added. “It’s time for me to really even…past him and do things bigger and better than what he did. That’s the goal, just to be the best player that I can and help an organization win Super Bowls, which, you know, I feel like we can; back to back to back.”

As far as being that resource, Lake said the biggest lesson he’s learned from his father is not to worry about the outside noise.

“I think the biggest thing is just to control what I can control,” said Lake. “And once you do that you really have a mindset of you’re focusing on what you can do each and every day. You’re not worried about the uncontrollables of what would happen the next day or not focusing on the past and not even focusing on the future. Just being in the present moment. That’s the biggest thing.”

Lake continued, “And another thing is he just taught me how to be a man. He taught me how to be respectful, how to carry myself, and all that stuff. In terms of football, He’s the one that taught me the game.”

Featured Image Caption: Sept. 4, 2021. Safety Quentin Lake (37) makes a play on the ball against LSU in a nonconference college football game played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline