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  • Inside look at the official visit (Jan. 24-26 edition)

    An inside look at the USC official visit (Jan. 24-26 edition)

    Friday

    • Recruits and their families arrived Friday afternoon for the usual meet-and-greet session at the John McKay Center. This is typically an opportunity for recruits to meet each other, speak with coaches and get to know their hosts. Lunch was followed by a host-led tour of the facilities and campus.

    “I wanted to meet some of the coaches and get a feel for what their personalities were like,” Malik Dorton said. “After that, I was looking forward to everything they had planned for us.”

    Said Viane Talamaivao’s father, Chris: “Of course, the hospitality of coach Sark and his staff was great. They rolled out the red carpet for us. Everywhere you turned, there was food.”

    • The parties left campus to check in at the hotel, the JW Marriott at L.A. Live: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...geles-la-live/

    • The itinerary was altered a bit given to scheduling conflicts. For instance, Friday night’s dinner was at the Coliseum since there was a sporting event at the venue on Saturday night. Recruits and their families were taken to the locker room where they had the opportunity to try on jerseys, helmets, gloves and other USC gear.

    https://twitter.com/theeEliteMalik/s...809152/photo/1

    • The visitors walked into the Coliseum, through the tunnel and onto the field. Sark gathered everyone at midfield, where he gave a fiery speech, according to those in attendance.

    “We went there on Friday night because there was a soccer game on Saturday,” Jabril Frazier said. “It was a great experience. I liked how they had my jersey number hanging in the locker room. Coach Sark gave a speech at the 50-yard line and then we went to eat dinner. He was telling us about the Trojan family. We play for the symbol on the side of the helmet.”

    Said Dorton: “It was nice. It was a different side of the Coliseum than what we’re used to, with everything cleared out, but it was a good deal.”

    Said Chris Talamaivao: “The gumbo we had there, man, that was awesome. … With our family, it’s sure that Viane is solid. So I got a kick out of watching the reaction of Damien’s parents and JuJu’s folks. That was the biggest thing. They loved it and seemed pretty sold.”

    • Recruits then had the opportunity to spend time with their hosts.

    “It was a great time,” Dorton said. “I had a lot of fun just hanging around with the players. Ty Isaac was my host, but we all hung out with each other. The out-of-town guys you could tell they weren’t used to L.A., but I’m sure they had a good experience. I know they had a good time.”

    Said Chris Talamaivao: “Viane’s favorite part, just from talking to him, was just being there with everyone, with JuJu and Damien, and seeing Toa Lobendahn and J.R. Tavai coming over.”

    https://twitter.com/SBVC73/status/42...974912/photo/1

    Saturday

    • Breakfast, followed by campus tours and sit-down meetings with academic advisors.

    “My major at USC is ranked No. 1 in the nation: Biokinesiology,” Bryce Dixon said. “That really set the bar high, too. School-wise, I liked everything.”

    Said Dorton: “I want to study Criminal Justice and USC showed me they have a lot of connections with the Secret Service, CIA and FBI. I sat down with the head of the department and he told me about the different programs USC has. That was great.”

    Said Chris Talamaivao: “Viane is going to study Business. It’s awesome. Of course, we know how well connected USC’s alums are. We met with the Dean of the Business School and hearing him talk and giving examples of kids making one phone call and getting their foot in the door was great. You start hearing a sales pitch and once you’re hearing it from everyone, you know it’s real.”

    • Recruits broke off to meet with their respective position coaches.

    “My favorite part was the cut-ups coach Tui was showing me of the tight end position,” Dixon said. “It made me comfortable. Coach Tui was recruiting me at UCLA and I was going to go there. We’ve had a great connection even before he went to Washington. We had a great connection there too, but the thing is it’s too cold in Washington. Him coming to USC was big. I like him as my position coach. All the coaches are fired up about being at USC and I like that. You can tell when a coach is being fake or real and I know these guys are real over here.”

    Said Chris Talamaivao: “Tim talked to the boys in general and they like him. They say he’s a real cool guy, kind of low key, but their conversations have been good. Both parties are excited. He can’t wait to get the boys out there and work with them. … We didn’t ask them about positions and he didn’t say anything. It doesn’t really matter. Viane is going to play wherever they want him to play, whether that’s guard or center.”

    Said Frazier: “I met with new D-line coach and he told me how I fit in the defense as a standup player rushing the passer. Their defense will use two outside linebackers, with one on the line and the other back there who can blitz, too.”

    • 2015 QB Ricky Town committed to USC after decommitting from Alabama earlier in the day.

    “That’s big,” Dixon said. “He’s going to come in and we’re going to have a connection. He’s going to do his thing. He’s a great quarterback. You can’t ask for a better quarterback in college. We’re going to be attacking the same plays and it’s going to be an easier transition for Ricky.”

    • Dinner on Saturday was held at the Rock’n Fish at L.A. Live: http://www.rocknfishrestaurants.com/htm/la/home.shtml

    “There were a lot of things we could choose from,” Frazier said. “I had some hot wings, macaroni and cheese, pasta and a Caesar salad. It was great.”

    • Another night out with the hosts.

    “Going out with the guys was a fun part of the visit,” Dixon said. “My host was Jabari Ruffin and he was real cool. Hanging out with the other recruits was cool, too. Hopefully they come here. I know they liked it at USC and their interest is real high.”

    Sunday

    • Send-off brunch at The Strandhouse in Manhattan Beach: http://www.thestrandhousemb.com/

    “It was perfect and everything I wanted the visit to be,” Dixon said. “I’m 100 percent on my commitment after this weekend, for sure. I’m not going to take that visit to UCLA at the end of the month. I was pretty sure before arriving on campus, but on the visit the coaches showed me how they are going to use me in their offense. I was a bit skeptical on that at first, but I’m real comfortable after getting reassurance. I’m not going to UCLA and I’m not trying to lead them on. I’m a Trojan.”

  • #2
    Thanks!!

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    • #3
      Fired up! Can't wait for NSD

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      • #4
        This is great stuff Blair. Thanks. Fight on!

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        • #5
          My favorite quote. "I’m not going to UCLA and I’m not trying to lead them on. I’m a Trojan"

          Comment


          • Trojanknight45
            Trojanknight45 commented
            Editing a comment
            Had a little fist pump moment after reading that lol

        • #6
          Thank you Blair!

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          • #7
            That was just awesome, Blair! It made me hungry! BTW, What are the transportation arrangements to the various off-campus sites i.e. restaurants, coliseum, etc.?

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            • #8
              That was just awesome, Blair! It made me hungry! BTW, What are the transportation arrangements to the various off-campus sites i.e. restaurants, coliseum, etc.? Are the recruits and their families bussed or???

              Comment


              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest commented
                Editing a comment
                I know in the past they've had a shuttle bus, but sometimes the coaches personally drive them to and from campus. Recruits/families are usually picked up at home in a town car.

            • #9
              Thanks Blair! Great to hear all the preparation and event planning USC staff does to make this all happen. Most impressive are the School Deans (There is no Criminal Justice major at USC, probably referring to Price School of Public Policy Dean Jack Knott) getting involved for the student athletes.

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              • #10
                Amazing write up as usual Blair. You do such a great job brotha. Fight On!

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                • #11
                  Awesome report with support from the Deans for the classroom side of things, get your degree. Fight On

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                  • #12
                    Nice to see them spending some time in Downtown LA. Downtown's resurgence is turning our only real remaining negative to a positive. Private school, NFL pipeline, young/excitable coaches, modern/up-tempo offense, great academics, brand new facilities, vibrant major world city location, and temperate climate w/ beach access via the Expo line next to campus. Who can compete with that?

                    Comment


                    • AJ_SCFAN
                      AJ_SCFAN commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Don't forget the Trojan Family!! Don't forget this little tidbit that Viane's father commented on....


                      "Said Chris Talamaivao: “Viane is going to study Business. It’s awesome. Of course, we know how well connected USC’s alums are."


                      USC alumni look out for one another which should make a big difference to anyone after their playing career is done.

                    • huntingtonharvey
                      huntingtonharvey commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No doubt. I sort of lump that with the whole private school thing, but I hear you.
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