Junior says be prepared

Virgen's View

January 26, 2012|By Steve Virgen

Junior Tagaloa has a message for the 50-100 athletes coming to Orange Coast College on Saturday.

Be prepared.

For dreams to come true, you must be prepared.

Tagaloa wants the athletes to be ready for the NFL Regional Combine. They must at least be professional if they have any chance of advancing to the Super Combine next month in Detroit.

Tagaloa, the former OCC star wide receiver and assistant coach, knows a lot about preparation and the combines. He is a national field consultant for Elite Pro Football Combines, which is now affiliated with the NFL.


He found out about the company because he used it to try to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional football player. He played arena football and mixed it up with others in rugby. He came close to playing with the Rams and 49ers but suffered injuries.

He also tried out for the Chargers. That's where the lesson of preparation came into play.

Tagaloa had a workout with then-San Diego wide receivers coach Charlie Joiner.

Joiner made Tagaloa run numerous routes in the solo tryout.

"I felt like I was dying, but he just kept making me run another one and another one," said Tagaloa, now the receivers coach at Golden West College. "The first ball I dropped, that's when he said, 'That's all I want to see. You can't catch the ball when you're tired.' And, he sent me away. You always have to be prepared."

Tagaloa has seen plenty of athletes with great talent and speed at the combines. Some are fast enough to be a pro, but they can't jump high enough. Some jump high, but can't run fast.

But he said there are instances when a versatile prospect is found.

Maybe that will happen during Saturday's Los Angeles regional combine at LeBard Stadium.

The athletes will perform various drills and all the skill challenges seen at the final NFL Combine. They each pay $190 to try out.

Tagaloa will arrive before 6 a.m. and leave most likely after the sun goes down.

There's a lot of work to find a diamond in the rough. Tagaloa must also be prepared for that.


The Sage Hill School boys' volleyball program is hosting the Princeton men's volleyball team on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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