Real Talk Season 2 with QBV #9 Lofa Tatupu! Former Seahawks Linebacker!
This week on Real Talk we had the opportunity to sit down with former Seahawks Linebacker Lofa Tatupu!! Lofa was drafted in the second round of the draft by the Seattle Seahawks out of Southern California. He was named to the Pro Bowl his First year in the league! That year he finished with 4 sacks. 3 interceptions and also lead the NFC champions Seattle Seahawks in tackles at 104.
Lofa was a three time Pro Bowler, and finished his career with over 500 career tackles. After playing football. Lofa moved onto coaching and creating his own CBD company!
He talks about his football career, advice for linebackers and also a little about his past teammates. Which include Russell Wilson and Matt Hasselbeck!
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Talk about your experience of playing QB during your high school career?
"Yeah I tried to play quarterback I don’t know if I was that good at it which is why I ended up playing linebacker in college but interesting enough my only 3 division 1 offers were to play quarterback."
"I had a good arm, strong arm, accurate but I didn’t see many 5’11 6 foot quarterbacks in the NFL so I opted for defense when I went to college but it was fun I learned a lot more about the game and it helped me out defensively in terms of knowing what areas or zones the quarterback is trying to target when his going through progressions."
"So as a middle linebacker I attribute a lot of my interception because of knowing what the quarterback has to do or what he wants to do with the ball given the defense."
How was the transition from Maine to USC?
"Yeah from a climate you hit it on the head it’s a little nicer but I grew up in Massachusetts so I like the cold, I like playing in the cold, I always had my best games in the cold because I sweat a lot so when I was going out there it was an adjustment literally trying to get acclimated to the weather. In terms of competition there is phenomenal athletes."
"Division 1, 2, 3 all across the board you will see guys make it to the next level but what I notice was the biggest difference was all the offensive linemen and defensive linemen were huge and they were athletic."
"I mean that’s what stood out to me the most where in 1 double A you face maybe one or two colleges in the playoffs that had a couple three hundred pounders. When I got to USC everyone was over three hundred pounds they were firing off the ball they were great athletes in space so that was the biggest difference I saw in terms of skill."
What was it like to win a National Championship your senior year?
"I was incredibly blessed to be on some amazing teams there at USC as everyone knows you know Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and the year I was redshirting Carson Palmer I got to play with three Heisman winners, I don’t know how many people can say that besides my teammates that were there so that was special."
"We worked hard on defense and were always up there in terms of top of the rankings it was just an incredible journey in two years we went 25-1 and the one lose was in triple overtime at Cal to a guy named Aaron Rodgers so I know you guys like quarterbacks."
"There is a pretty good one right there. I look back and how much fun it was that stands out everyone sees that but what they don’t understand is the sacrifice all the early morning workouts, the grueling practices try to stop Landell White from running the ball then try to cover Reggie Bush when he's running routes but iron sharpens iron and I believe that’s what helped me perfect my craft and get better all my weaknesses it helped me really sharpen up my game and become well rounded."
Was there any guys that mentored you early on in your career than later see yourself being a mentor for the young guys?
"I was always blessed with a lot of really incredibly strong leaders that I got to learn from dating back to Maine several of my guys Malik Nichols a senior linebacker, Steven Cooper a guy who played in the league for eight years with the Chargers he was a beast so no shortage of leaders there as well as SC you got guys like Carson, Troy Polamalu the year I was sitting out."
"I got to study everything he did in terms of well-rounded game there was nothing that guy couldn’t do coverage, blitzing, run fits so watching him and seeing how he broke down the game was incredible we are talking about a hall of famer on of the best to ever play at safety. In the linebacker room guys like Mike Palmer, Champ Simmons, there was several guys that helped teach me the game."
"Coming from the east coast its not just learning your surroundings and now you’re in LA but its also about how they go about business and they started to turn that program around and just went to the Orange bowl 11-2 Carson and Troy's last year so it was a tight team most championships that’s what you hear, it was a family."
Talk about the moment being drafted and the Seahawks believing in you?
"Yeah I left after my junior year against everyone’s advice. All the draft guys were saying it’s a mistake he’s too small to slow he’s not going to get drafted till the 5th or 6th