Q & A with Oscar Lua

WeAreSC.com caught up with future Trojan linebacker Oscar Lua as he prepares for the Shrine All Star game this Saturday at Mt. SAC.

WeAreSC- What are some of your favorite memories looking back on your career at Indio?

Lua- "Oh, probably the biggest things I'm leaving behind are my friends and coach. My head coach was my linebacker coach. We had a relationship that was more like father-son than just coach to player."

WeAreSC- What's practice this week been like?

Lua- "It's been great. I mean, it really hasn't been strenuous at all. You know, we're having a blast out there. All of the guys are getting to know each other. People I'll be facing in the PAC-10, a few like Marcedes, people who are going to be playing at UCLA. Meeting my teammates like Darnell and Hershel, all of those guys. So it's been great."

WeAreSC- How have the other USC commits looked so far?

Lua- "Oh, they've all looked great. From what I can tell we're going to have an awesome team next year. We've got people like Darnell coming in, myself, Hershel's really got some great moves. So it's going to be awesome."

WeAreSC- What's your height and weight right now

Lua- "6'2, 250."

WeAreSC- Have the coaches talked to you about what size they want you coming in at?

Lua- "They said they wanted me at exactly the same size I came in at. Just, when I come in they want to lower my body fat percentage I guess. I stand at a nine point something and they want me to get around seven. But they said my weight was perfect because I can still run a 4.6, so they were like ‘come in at that weight if you can handle it.'"

WeAreSC- Are you coming in at middle linebacker?

Lua- "Yeah, I'm coming in at MIKE."

WeAreSC- What have you been doing this summer as far as working out?

Lua- "I've been following the program the coaches gave me. I haven't been running much because I've been trying to get in the weight room, but I've been running a couple 150's, a couple 40's, and running a lot of miles for endurance. I've been working out pretty hard in the weight room."

WeAreSC- I've heard that you have a pretty good reputation in the weight room. How much time do you spend a day in there?

Lua- "I do it five days a week and I spend between two and two and a half hours a day in the weight room, doing numerous reps of bench, squat, and power cleans. That's pretty much all I do. I'll throw in some biceps to make them look nice."

WeAreSC- Have you been in contact with the coaches over the summer?

Lua- "Oh yeah. Coach Holt, I call him just to chat with him. You know, just to keep in touch and he calls me as well. I've been talking to Coach Orgeron. I don't talk to Coach Carroll much because he's obviously very busy most of the time, but I talk to all of the other coaches."

WeAreSC- What are your impressions of Coach Holt?

Lua- "He is the best coach. He looks like the kind of coach that when I'm leaving, it seems like I can have a real close relationship with him and he's just a fired up guy. He has that fiery intensity that I like to play at."

WeAreSC- Talk a little about Coach Carroll and what kind of factor he played in your decision to attend USC.

Lua- "He was one of the biggest factors just because of the fact that he coached in the NFL as a defensive coordinator. So he brings the mentality of more of a defensive coach, so he leans everything towards the defense. He pays a little more attention to the defense, but he's also a great offensive coach. He's a really awesome person, just great to talk to, and he really knows how to handle stuff on the defensive side of the ball."

WeAreSC- What kind of player are you at the middle linebacker spot? What are your strengths there and what kind of mentality do you have out there?

Lua- "Oh, the mentality I have is like, you go out there to win. Every time a lineman comes at you it's a battle, it's you and him, he's trying to beat you and you're trying to beat him. So, my mentality is that I've got to win. I'm going at it full forced. I mean, I'm not going to get away from a lineman, I'm going to hit him. I'm going to make contact with him and I'm going to stuff the gap. They have the weakside linebackers for the little tackles, but I'm going to stuff it. I'm going to be the ugly and mean guy."

WeAreSC- So how does it feel, in around a month you're going to be putting on the Trojan jersey and heading out to practice?

Lua- "It's really intense. You don't know if you're 99% scared or 99% excited. It's just football. That's the definition of it, its football. You don't know how to react to it, but you just play and you get the greatest feeling in the world. There's no substitute for it."

WeAreSC- What are you looking forward to about coming to USC outside of football?

Lua- "Oh, education. That's the biggest attribute that I want to take away from SC. Education is my main prerogative."

WeAreSC- Do you know what you want to major in?

Lua- "Psychology. I want to major in psychology and I want to probably get a minor in forensics. So I'll be looking to do that."

WeAreSC- What are your long term goals for your football career at USC?

Lua- "Well, just like any other football player, you want to be able to stand next to the big names like Junior Seau, Willie McGinest, and things like that, but I'm looking to hopefully set my mark at SC. Maybe a tackling record or something like that, but I just want to be able to build on the tradition that SC has of throwing out great linebackers."

WeAreSC- You mentioned a couple names in Junior Seau and Willie McGinest, are you looking forward to following in the footsteps of those guys?

Lua- "Oh yeah, that is totally awesome. That's one of the biggest honors in the world I think. When people would compare you to people such as that, it's an honor like no other."

WeAreSC- What number will you be wearing at USC?

Lua- "I'm going to be wearing 46. Just because of the fact that they didn't give Mike Pollard 55, so he's going to keep 45. I'm taking Matt Grootegoed's old number."

WeAreSC- How did your senior year of baseball go?

Lua- "Senior year went pretty much the same way. Really good, but I didn't have as many home runs. When my coach and I totaled up all the stats, I only saw 32 fast balls and the rest were pure change-ups and off-speeds. So it was basically a base hit season for me, doubles, triples. Not many home runs, I only had 5 home runs."

WeAreSC- I know that you were considering playing baseball in college, is that still the case?

Lua- "Yeah, I mean that's always a possibility because a lot of my coaches and family have always seen me as a baseball player. As a lot of people know, I played baseball growing up and didn't start football until my freshman year. I love the sport, not quite as much as football because of the aggressiveness and the nature of football is more me than baseball. There is a possibility though. I'm interested in it."

WeAreSC- Have you had a chance to talk to Coach Gillespie about playing baseball?

Lua- "As a matter of fact on my recruiting trip I got a chance to talk to him and he's interested in me coming out."

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