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  USC safety Talanoa Hufanga has gone a slightly different route as he prepares for the 2021 draft, working instead with one of his Trojan predecessors, Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. "I'm very grateful for him in my life. Getting to learn from him is unbelievable," Hufanga said ahead of USC's pro day Wednesday. "When it comes to something I learned from him, it's so many things." Hufanga first met Polamalu in high school when training with Vai Sikahema, the first Tongan to play in the NFL. Sikahema asked whom Hufanga liked to model his game after, and though Hufanga said he didn't model after anyone, his favorite player to watch was Polamalu. It's not hard to see the parallels in their games. Both were hard-hitting safeties capable of making tackles for loss or interceptions depending on what the situation called for.

Sikahema pulled his phone out on the spot and started a group text between them and Polamalu. Hufanga began to utilize the former Pittsburgh Steeler great as a resource through FaceTime or phone calls. So when Hufanga declared for the NFL draft following his junior season, he put out the big ask to Polamalu. "When I asked if it was possible if I could train with him, it was something that he took thought into and ultimately said yes," Hufanga said. "I've been off social media for three years and getting to have those conversations with him. I think that's [why] he kinda knows that when I meant I was all-in, I was all-in." - Orange County Register

(DS#1 SS) Jr/2021 SS *Talanoa HufangaSouthern California
News Source: Orange County Register



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