RESPECT. Interview: Viane Talamaivao Talks USC Pro Day And Sam Darnold & Ronald Jones II’s Leadership Styles

Photo Credit- Los Angeles Times

TCR Sports Performance is currently preparing a variety of different clients for the upcoming NFL Draft in Arlington, Texas on April 26th at AT&T Stadium. One of them is a four-year starter at the guard position at University of Southern California by the name of Viane Talamaivao.

Viane is from Moreno Valley, California and attended Centennial High School. During his time at Centennial, he was a three-year starter and upon the completion of his senior. He made the 2013 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Student Sports first team, Parade All-American second team, ESPN 300, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division I first team, and All-CIF Inland Division. He also played in the CIF Southern California Regional Championship bowl game.

Viane would choose to attend USC and during his Freshmen year started 11 of their final games in 2014, at the right guard position. He would later go on to be a part of the 2014 All-Pac-12 honorable mention, as well as the CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American first team and Scout Freshman All-American second team.
During his Sophomore season, he would start at guard at the halfway mark of the 2015 season. Against teams such as Notre Dame, Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game and Wisconsin, before having to sit out a game against Oregon, due to a spraining his knee in the previous game against Colorado.

In 2016, he would start all 13 games for the Trojans during his junior campaign and even would record a tackle against the California Golden Bears. The Trojans would end up winning the Rose Bowl by beating the Penn State Nitty Lions 52-49.

Talamaivao would decide to return for his senior year with the Trojans help lead them to the Cotton Bowl, but they were not able to get the job against Ohio State losing 24-7.

RESPECT. MAG recently had the opportunity to speak with USC standout Viane Talamaivao about USC Pro Day, and how USC prepares it athletes for the National Football League. Also, he discusses in his opinion what sets Sam Donald and Ronald Jones II apart from others at their position in this year’s draft.

RESPECT.: How has USC prepared you for the National Football League?

Number one being able to line up against a First round caliber Defensive Tackle in Rasheem Green in practice every day. He has helped prepare me for the competition during my time at USC and on the professional level. Also, the exposure that USC gets every season has given me the opportunity to showcase my talents for individuals at the NFL level to see. Finally, our coaches are NFL caliber coaches, and they have helped prepare us for the next level mentally and physically.

RESPECT.: Can you talk about the challenge of being the most experienced offensive lineman the 2017 Trojan roster?

Even though I was the most experienced offensive lineman during the 2017 season, I also had other individuals that were lining up next to me that had planning experience. For example, Nico Falah, he played the previous year where we won the Rose Bowl, and Right tackle Chuma Edoga also had line experience. Yes, I was the most experience out of all us, but I was fortunate to have those two by my side to share the experience. The transition is a lot easier when you have others in the room that are seasoned as well, and you they can help pass on the knowledge to the underclassmen. It also creates more of comradery with the offensive line.

RESPECT.:  You had the opportunity to block for Ronald Jones II and Sam Sam Darnold can describe both individuals leadership styles?

They are both individuals who like to lead by example. Sam is more a vocal leader considering his position as the starting quarterback, but they both reiterate what is expected of us as a team. Especially Sam being that he is a blue -collar individual, that is always looking to get better at his position, and it trickled down to the rest of us. Being able to black for the two of them was an excellent opportunity for me to block for two great leaders.

In your opinion what separates both from other individuals at their position that will be featured in the upcoming draft?

Apart from leadership, I think Sam and Ronald both have qualities that are very hard to coach. In my opinion, Sam is a playmaker, and again he processes instinct that you cannot teach, and it shows up on film. Some of the throws that Sam can make combined with the ability to avoid sacks to create plays down the field that cannot be taught, and I would say the same for RoJo has excellent instincts. He can elude tackles and make plays, and I think those are the qualities that separate both individuals from others at their positions in this draft.

Can you take us through some of the drills that you had to go through during your Pro Day on Wednesday?

They did not make us perform too many drills, but the first two involved agility drills through bags. Next was the position drills, where we had to pull both ways and change direction. Finally, inside and outside zone footwork, and we had to work with punching bags to see our pass sets. Also, are running sets, the ability to anchor down, and defend the bull rush from our opponents.
What is the atmosphere like at USC with representatives of all 32 teams from the NFL in the audience?
The atmosphere could get a little nerve-racking because it is a big day one campus. There are a lot of eyes on us during our Pro Day, and you can feel the pressure, but it was an excellent experience for me.

Who were some of the teams that you had to speak with during this process on the professional level?

I had the opportunity to speak with the Detroit Lions, England, and the Titans.

Being a student-athlete at USC comes with a lot of media attention year after year. How were you able to focus on the task at hand and what advice would share with prospects coming in this season to stay focused?

Personally, it was not difficult for me to focus because I am not a big social media person. I did not participate in media sessions, but I would say at the University of Southern California, we do a great job of coaching our players. Our staff provides media training programs, and my best advice would be to think what you are going to say before addressing the media. Once something is out there you can take it back. Our coaches say ‘if you would not stand in the middle of campus and scream it at the top of your lungs do not say it at all.

RESPECT.: In your opinion what is your ideal situation at the pro level?

I feel comfortable playing in any scheme that I am put in at the next level. I have had the opportunity to play in the spread offense in high school and played in the pro-style here at SC. My preference would be in a Pro-style up-tempo offense, but if I happen to be presented with the spread offense, it is something that I am familiar with as a lineman.

RESPECT.:  What do you want to use your platform to showcase to the world as far as, a message?

I would use my platform to promote the importance of setting goals for themselves. If must write them down then do that, but make sure you are trying to achieve something, whether that be in football, school, or in life. Also, I would like to help my community as much as I can. Create a platform for Polynesian kids that allows them to achieve their goals in whatever professional field that they choose.

RESPECT.:  In the future do you plan on starting a non-profit focused on the build that type of platform?

Yes, this is something that I have been thinking about for a while now with my team, but right now I’m focused on football, and everything will fall into place after that.

RESPECT.: What did you get your degree in while you attend USC?

I studied Business with the emphasis focused on non-profit organization.

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Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, Whats Trendings CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.