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Sunday, June 10, 2007

USC Recruit Christian Tupou

Catching up with Tupou

By Garry Paskwietz
Posted Jun 5, 2007

News Image
Christian Tupou
While in Sacramento for the State Track Meet, WeAreSC had a chance to visit with incoming Trojan defensive tackle Christian Tupou to get the following update:
WeAreSC: We're here with Christian Tupou, first of all, let's get a correct pronunciation on your last name.

Tupou: Two-po.

WeAreSC: Current ht/wt.

Tupou: 6-3, 265.

WeAreSC: Has your class graduated yet and, if so, when will you be heading down to USC?

Tupou: Yeah, we graduated last Wednesday and I'll be going to USC in three weeks.

WeAreSC: What position are the coaches telling you that you will be playing?

Tupou: The three-technique.

WeAreSC: What are your strengths for playing the d-line?

Tupou: I think my on-field strength is my strength, I have that. My get-off is quick too. I've got a lot of experience on the line.

WeAreSC: How excited are you getting to become a USC football player?

Tupou: I'm real excited. When I signed up they told me, welcome to the Family. I'm now part of the Trojan Family and I just can't believe it. Me, a Trojan. When it hit me it was just crazy, I'm gonna be a Trojan. It just feels so good."

WeAreSC: Is it the kind of thing around campus and around town that people know you as the Trojan?

Tupou: Up here in Northern California everyone always says that "You're the one going to USC" and I just say "Yep, I'm a Trojan". It makes you feel like a Hollywood star or something."

WeAreSC: You committed late in the process, what was it that helped put USC over the top for you?

Tupou: On the last day of my trip, we went through a thing called "War Time", it's how they prepare for a game and how they come out of the locker room. When we did that, there was no other feeling that could substitute what I felt right there.

WeAreSC: Did you get to know any of the players really well during the process?

Tupou: Yeah, I would say guys like Fili Moala, Stanley Havili and Hershel Dennis.

WeAreSC: Which coaches were primarily involved with recruiting you?

Tupou: Coach Holt and Coach Watson.

WeAreSC: In your mind, what does it take to be a USC football player?

Tupou: Desire, passion, hard work, pride. All these things you have to combine in order to be a Trojan.

WeAreSC: Have you been taking part in the USC workout program so far?

Tupou: (laughing) That's why I'm looking so skinny! My high school coach looked at me the other day and he said "are you serious, do they really want you this way?" and I told him, yeah. I used to be at 280 and now I'm down 15 pounds to 265. I guess they will just build me back up from there. It's probably been a year and a half since I was this light. It's good though because I can move around a lot quicker and I can feel it in my footwork."

WeAreSC: You're coming into a team that has national title aspirations. Does that help you prepare harder now with knowing the situation you're walking into?

Tupou: I mean, you gotta stay humble. I'm coming in so young to a team that has such high goals, I need to build myself to that level. I haven't won anything yet so I can't think that I have. I'm just a young guy trying to earn my way."

WeAreSC: Talk about the pride of your family knowing that you will be attending USC.

Tupou: I come from an immigrant family so for me to attend a school like USC, my parents just find so much pride in that. I'm the youngest of four boys and then I have a younger sister. My parents come from Tonga, they are the first generation here, and they are just really proud."

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