Catching up with TupouBy Garry Paskwietz
Posted Jun 5, 2007
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."