Q&A with George Hypolite

Loyola's George Hypolite, 6'2, 230 lbs, looks to have everything that you'd want in a fullback, and in running for 669 yards and 5 touchdowns, as well as proving to be particularly adept as a bruising lead-blocker, he was a big part of the Cubs' title run last season. A participant at the Trojan Camp back in June, he talks about the experience and gives a recruiting update.

WeAreSC- Do you have a list of schools that you're looking at right now? Maybe a top 5 or 6?

Hypolite- "No, not right now. I'm really just open, you know, taking my time with my decision, evaluating pretty much anybody who shows interest in me. I'm on the side where I'm waiting. I'll make my decision later."

WeAreSC- In an earlier interview you said that there was a 50% chance that you'd stay in-state. Is that still the case?

Hypolite- "Yeah, there's about a 50% chance I'll stay in-state and a 50% chance I won't. I'm just so open right now. I haven't taken any visits anywhere besides UCLA and USC, and I'm open enough to say that I could just go to Nebraska and all of a sudden,‘Wow, I love Nebraska,' and go there, or any school."

WeAreSC- What are the factors that you're taking into consideration in choosing a school?

Hypolite- "Probably the most important thing for me in choosing a school is the actual program as it is now. You know, the coaching staff, how I feel about my position coach, how I feel about the way he teaches, the way I feel like he's pushing me everyday to be the best player I possibly can, and I guess the next factor would be ‘do I like the players?' Are these guys that I want to go to war with, everyday, day in and day out? Are these guys going to make it a lot easier for my transition? Are these guys where I'm going to be able to flourish and become a better player, and where we're all about team."

WeAreSC- Talk a little about your interest in USC.

Hypolite- "I really like the competitive nature of the program. I'm just that kind of guy. I love to compete. Watching them practice, they pretty much get after it everyday, because really in that system no one really has an assured spot because there's so much talent. You kind of have to bring you're A-game everyday, and that makes practice so much better, and it makes your game step up to a level everyday in practice that when you touch the field for a game it's somewhat easier. And that's why I can see why a guy like Mike Williams was saying ‘Well I got my best competition in practice,' because in that program there's so much talent, he has to be at his highest level everyday in practice. He has to be in peak shape, he has to be running crisp routes, and he has to really concentrate on catching the ball everyday in practice. And maybe at some other schools where the talent level isn't as high, you can probably ease off a little bit and know that you're still going to be the best guy there. But if you're at SC and you ease off a little bit, there's somebody who's going to outshine you that day. You have to be extremely competitive everyday and that's really a good thing because it makes games so much easier."

WeAreSC- Which coaches from USC do you primarily keep in contact with?

Hypolite- "Coach Burns and Coach McNair."

WeAreSC- What kinds of things have the Trojan coaches told you about where you'd fit in at USC?

Hypolite- "Since I made it very clear that I'm very open right now and I'm not really close to making my decision, when I talked to Coach Carroll about how I'd fit in, he was just basically saying, ‘We need a good fullback. We need a guy who can catch the ball and a guy who can block.' But he just doesn't know that I'm for sure going to play fullback. You know, you never know, like maybe something happens and they get a J.C. transfer and that guy is a great fullback, but they need a linebacker and they work me out at linebacker, and all of a sudden they feel like I can get the job done there. So he was just basically telling me that I have a pretty open future. They just want to see exactly how I'd fit in."

WeAreSC- Do you have a preference about where you play on the next level?

Hypolite- "I guess my preference would just to be on the field. If I have to be on special teams, as long as I'm seeing the field every game that's my preference. As long as I can help the team get to the next level."

WeAreSC- I know you took in a day at The Trojan Camp earlier this summer. What was that experience like?

Hypolite- "Yeah, I was at the morning session. It was a lot of fun. You can see a lot of how guys coach, but when you're actually the one receiving the coaching it's a lot more enlightening. I really saw why the players and why the program is as good as it is right now. How the coaches get after it. Because you can see the discipline, but at the same time you see the benefits very quickly. We were out there running drills, and we went and watched some film on it, and the same drills that we were running in the practice session, when you looked at it on film, there were a lot of the same things that happened on the film. The drills that they did at the camp are very applicable to the field which makes it a lot easier for the player because you see ‘Well, by doing this drill, I'm getting better at this aspect of my game.' That was one of the real things I took from that. And also, wherever I'm at, whatever I'm doing, wherever I'm training, I just try to take in all I can, and I took in a lot of Coach McNair's philosophy on running the football and how he teaches you to do things, and I took what I could and added it to my game. It was a good experience."

WeAreSC- Talk a little about your interest in UCLA. They're another school that I've heard you mention in the past.

Hypolite- "They feel like a family. And also, like SC, they work really hard in practice, and I think that's one of the big things that will weigh in on my decision. How do I feel like the team works as a team? I've seen UCLA, I went up there to watch them lift, and just seeing how they get after it, and I've hung out with some of the players, you feel the family aspect. And then up there, they just teach a lot. They don't mind slowing down practice just to make sure you get it. You know, at other schools they push you a little bit more. Maybe you don't know it all, but you kind of figure it out yourself. They [UCLA] make sure you run things right. And their execution this year, more than last year, I think will probably be that much better because that's the way they get after it at practice. But like with any decision that anybody makes, there are things I love about every school and things I don't like about every school, but I think UCLA and USC are great places."

WeAreSC- Do you have an offer from either USC or UCLA?

Hypolite- "Actually, right now I have no formal offers."

WeAreSC- What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

Hypolite- "I was invited to the Senior Day at Cal, so I might do that. Outside of that, it's just my regular workouts, week to week. Seven days a week I'm working out. Working out with my team, we have passing league during the summer. Getting ready for the season, and that's pretty much it. I've kind of gotten to the point where I can't worry about the recruiting process anymore because I have goals for my team this year and I'm a team leader so I have to achieve those goals, and I kind of can't worry about what's coming up in the future. I have to let it be in the future and live in the present right now."

WeAreSC- Have you started to think about your official visits?

Hypolite- "I'll probably use most of my five for out-of-state schools, because UCLA and USC, I'm a freeway away from both. I can just drive there anytime I want to. But like Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida…schools out of state that are recruiting me, I can't go there anytime I want, so I don't really have a feel for their program as I have a feel for UCLA and USC, so I'll probably use more of my trips for those schools. To see ‘Is this a place I can live in? Is this a place that I like?'"

WeAreSC- Do you have any kind of timeline for when you want to reach your decision?

Hypolite- "I plan on taking all of my visits. My timeline is February 13th."


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