Viane Talamaivao switches to a school closer to home
By Dave Friedman
When prized offensive lineman Viane Talamaivao committed to Alabama in May, his coach at Centennial High School in Corona, California was not surprised. Matt Logan said that the 6’3” and 310 pound Talamaivao had always wanted to move away for college and experience something different. However, six months after deciding a 2,000 mile trip from the LA suburbs to Tuscaloosa was his greatest desire, Talamaivao changed his mind and opted for USC, a 50 mile trek from home.
“I think like most kids who talk a big game, when it comes down to a final decision, he wants his parents to be able to see him play,” said Logan.
On Friday Talamaivao hopes to lead the Huskies to a section title. While the decision to change commitments has weighed on him for much of the year, Logan says that Talamaivo has continued to dominate the point of attack.
“He’s played really well and developed into a strong leader,” said Logan. “He’s taken the offensive line under his wings.”
Interestingly, Talamaivao changed commitments during a time of turmoil at Southern California. Lane Kiffin was fired in September, and interim coach Ed Oregeron was running the Trojans program when the decision to change schools was first reported. Since the switch in commitments, USC hired Washington’s Steve Sarkisian to lead the program going forward. Logan says that is not a problem.
“We’re pretty sure the scholarship will be honored,” said Logan. “UW had recruited him and offered him.”
Talamaivao arrived at the decision after consulting closely with his dad and uncle. A run blocking specialist that plays a physical brand of football, his coach recognizes that decisions like this occur, though this is a unique circumstance.
“I wasn’t surprised he made a change,” said Logan. “A lot of kids over my 17 years as a coach switch and pick a school closer to home. I’ve seen it many times, though I imagine Alabama doesn’t lose a lot of recruits.