Viane Talamaivao swaps to USC

Updated: November 23, 2013, 9:53 PM ET
By Erik McKinney | ESPN.com

Ed Orgeron may only be the interim coach at USC, but he could be making a permanent impact on the program's future.

Late Monday, ESPN 300 offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) decommitted from Alabama and gave a verbal pledge to the Trojans.

Talamaivao's father, Chris, confirmed the commitment.

"I'd heard earlier today from him that he wanted to go to USC, but I didn't pay any mind to him," Chris Talamaivao said, adding that he thought it was a joke. "A couple of minutes later, I got a phone call from him, but I knew he was supposed to be in class. He said he had a change of heart and that he wants to be home. It's us. It's the family thing. That's the main reason why he decommitted from Alabama."

Chris Talamaivao said the decommitment had nothing to do with any dissatisfaction with the Crimson Tide. Talamaivao, the nation's No. 105 prospect, recently returned from his official visit to Alabama and said he loved it. But as he sat in the stands during USC's home win against then-No. 4 Stanford on Saturday night, the reality of moving across the country hit home.

"He told me on Saturday that he sat near [USC fullback] Soma Vainuku's family and saw all of his family members there at the game celebrating," Chris Talamaivao said. "It kind of hit him. He was going to be able to go win at Alabama, but not everybody in his family would be able to be there. Stuff like that played a big role in changing his mind."

Talamaivao's father said he was blindsided by the news, as he was still sorting through the hundreds of dollars worth of Alabama merchandise he bought during the official visit two weeks ago.

"I've been so locked into Alabama, it's still, 'Wow,'" he said. "But [USC is] where he wants to go, and I'm all for it."

Talamaivao said when his son called Alabama coaches Monday to inform them of the news, they took it in stride, wishing the standout lineman all the best.

"He was blown away at Alabama," Talamaivao said. "There's nothing like it. On the football part, it's awesome. But at the end of the day, what's important to V is his family."

This commitment is a huge shot in the arm for USC, which reels in the No. 5 guard in the country and No. 9 player in California. It also shows the momentum the Trojans have now. To get Talamaivao into the fold gives the Trojans a standout player at a position of need. Talamaivao is commitment No. 10 for the Trojans and is the top-ranked player in the class.

He joins No. 8 offensive guard Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra), No. 19 offensive tackle Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day) -- both ESPN 300 prospects -- and three-star tackle Jordan Austin (Claremont, Calif./Claremont).

This commitment could also put the Trojans in the driver's seat for No. 3 offensive guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) -- a close friend of Talamaivao's who recently narrowed his list to Alabama, BYU, UCLA and USC -- and perhaps also give them a leg up with No. 38 recruit John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), another good friend of the group.

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