Incoming freshman getting ready to make an impact.
Uona Kaveinga was the last commit for the Trojans 2008 recruiting class. He may be the first to show an impact on the field for this class. While the class is loaded with talent, circumstance has it where he may be able to contribute immediately.
Billed as a middle linebacker, he will be one of the first called to back up Rey Maualuga. Chris Galippo will be sidelined for a time while recovering from disk surgery. This may provide an opening for Kaveinga to have an immediate impact. The incoming freshman has his work cut out for him, learning the defense of the Trojans. If all goes well, he'll be on the field on Saturdays.
The skills and abilities are there: in his senior season, Kaveinga racked up 147 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and had eight quarterback sacks. He is known as a big time hitter, able to shed off blockers to get to the football. Kaveinga is a Scout.com 4-star recruit, ranked #9 (as a weak-side linebacker).
Clay de Leon caught up with Uona Kaveinga to discuss his transition to USC football.
How's your new life at USC?
"Cool – just real busy all the time. I've been here for about a month. I've been taking summer classes, beginning about a month back. I'm adjusting to that."
Are you planning on taking your mission after freshman year? (Kaveinga is a member of the Latter Day Saints).
"Yes. When I go on my mission, it will be a two-year commitment."
What's it like being around all these guys (football team) on campus?
"It's ‘normal' to me. I'm a hometown boy, so I'm used to everything."
What are Coach Carlisle workouts like?
"They're alright, they are…they're intense, everything's intense. We work out once a day, five days a week. The session is almost two hours. Whenever (trainers) have time to coach you up, he'll coach you up."
"I'm working on just to get in ‘better shape' getting ready to contribute any way I can to the team this year. I know my role and I'm not worried about it."
What do you think your role is going to be?
"Just to come out here and practice hard. Right now they have me at middle linebacker. Who knows where it will go from there. I'll be in back of Rey Maualuga. It'll be just me and Rey right now (Chris Galippo is recovering from disc surgery)."
"I'll just play my role. Whatever my role for the team is, I just gotta play it. We haven't sat down yet and discussed roles. I just have to go into camp and compete, try to earn some playing time."
Do you know your academic major at USC yet?
"I'm undecided right now."
What are you goals for this year?
"My goals are to play hard. Just practice hard and play hard every day."
Kaveinga Video 1
Kaveinga Video 2