Changing of the Guard

Chilo Rachal

Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Chilo Rachal took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down and answer some questions for WeAreSC.com. Here is what he had to say.

First of all Chilo, thank you for taking the time out for this interview.
No problem.

How prepared are you for spring ball?
Very prepared. I'm healthy, and I have more of an understanding of the offense. It makes me more comfortable.

How prepared is the team for spring ball?
We're very prepared. Everyone's been working hard. There's good attendance; all the players have been coming to the workouts.

What do you think you need to do to grab a starting spot on the OL?
Just work hard day in and day out. I need to stay consistent. Just bring my "A" game everyday and separate myself from everyone else.

What is your favorite thing about OL Coach Pat Ruel?
Him as a person. Outside of him being a coach, he's someone that you can learn a lot from. With him it's business, but at the same time it's fun.

How do you think the offense will be able to transition after losing so many players on offense?
I don't think we're going to miss a beat. We have a lot of guys that will blanket those positions that people don't know about. We'll be ready.

What new players should we be keeping our eyes on for spring ball this year?
Charles Brown and Tiny Malu. Charles Brown is a freak. He's very talented. Tiny is very talented. They're both overlooked, but they're both very good. Tiny is very good and he's going to push me for a spot on the offensive line.

How does the team feel about last year's season?
Everyone has a different opinion, but everyone remembers how that feels – losing – and I'm pretty sure no one wants to do that again. We haven't lost in such a long time and we don't want to have that feeling again.

Has there been a new fire lit under the belly of the team?
Most definitely. Everyone's real hungry. We want to get back to where we were. Everyone's pushing themselves harder.

What do you think separates USC from other teams in the nation?
Our team chemistry, I think. Everyone wants to win and there are no individuals. Everyone has the same goal in their mind and that is to win - to be on top.

Why did you pick USC coming out of high school?
I liked it because it was close to home. My mother could see me play. All of my family is in California, and I liked the team when I got here. I like Coach Carroll; he's a wonderful coach. I just liked what they had to offer; what they had to offer was a lot more than the other teams I was talking with.

What other schools recruited you out of high school?
I had a lot of schools, but the main ones I was focused on were USC, Washington, Oregon, Ohio State, a couple of others. But I always liked USC. They weren't that good (at the time), but I watched them because I was local. But once I got that offer, my mind was pretty much made up, especially with the education too.

How big of a transition is it to go from high school to a big time college like USC?
It's a BIG transition. The game's faster. It's not based on whether you're bigger or better than everyone. You're coming to a place where everyone was a high school All-American just like you were. So the competitiveness rises, everyone's faster, bigger, and stronger.

Outside of football, I think you mature quicker. I think once I got to college, I became more responsible. I take care of my main priorities more than always just trying to have fun.

What goals do you have for yourself before you graduate from USC?
The goal that I set for myself is to be the next great when I come out of here. I want to work real hard and to get my degree.

What do you like about playing offensive line? Why?
You get to hit every play. You're in the trenches and every play you have to hit somebody. I really like the physicality and contact.

If you could play another position, what would you want to play? Why?
I would be a running back (laughs). That way I could show my hip movement, speed, my agility, and score touchdowns (both laugh).

Who has been the most competitive defensive lineman you've gone up against at SC? Why?
Fili Moala because every time we do 1 on 1's, it's always me and Fili. If we do sixty 1 on 1's, it's me and him on fifty-five of them. He's really good and he makes me a better player. Me and him are always trying to kill each other, but afterwards you know it's nothing but love.

If playing in the NFL wasn't an option for you, what would you want to do when you graduate?
I think I'd like to get into the secret service, FBI – something like that. I think that fits my personality best. I'm not really an inside person; I'm more of an outside person. I wouldn't like to be behind a desk; I like to be outside.

What do you think of WeAreSC.com?
I read it every now and then. I'll see what you all are talking about. It keeps me up to date about recruiting for other schools and who went where and when. It's real cool.

What do you think of the Trojan Family and the fans?
Everyone's wonderful. It really is a family. Everyone sticks together. On game days, from the Trojan Walk until after the game at the tailgates, everyone's real nice. I like it.

For the fans reading this article, what would you like to tell them about your time here and what you have in store for the future?
I've enjoyed it. I'm going to enjoy my last few years that I have, and I'm going to give it all I got.

Chilo, thanks for spending your time and doing this interview.
Thank you.

WeAreSC would like to thank Chilo Rachal for the interview and wish him a Happy Birthday (March 15, 2006).

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