first_imgUSC sophomore Su’a Cravens came to Troy carrying a four-star recruiting ranking and high expectations. Even after a  tough knee injury and a position switch, the safety-turned-linebacker has not disappointed. Daily  Trojan staff writer Hailey Tucker sat down with Cravens to discuss his early life, future aspirations and his USC career thus far.DT: What was your most memorable moment from high school football?Cravens: Winning the [CIF] championship my junior year. It was the story game, the rivalry game. It was the team we played in the championship the year before, and it came down to the last drive of the game, the cliché and all that big game-winning touchdown. I remember that game like it was yesterday. The crowd stormed the field; that moment was special.DT: You graduated from high school early to enroll at USC. What was the recruiting process like for you, and why did you decide to graduate early?Cravens: My parents wanted me to get in the rotation of things fast; they didn’t want me to wait, and they felt like I was ready.  They were forcing my commitment a little earlier. If I didn’t come to ’SC my mom probably would have had a fit. I knew I was going to ’SC as soon as I got the offer my junior year from Lane Kiffin. I was recruited by [Ed] Orgeron, [Lane] Kiffin, [Troy] Polamalu. I made the commitment on June 6, on my mom’s birthday.DT: You tore cartilage in your knee when you were a freshman, what was that like for you?Cravens: I tore my meniscus my freshman year when I early enrolled. It set me back a little bit, but it gave me time to get stronger and to mature. I didn’t really have an understanding of the fact that this game can end at any moment. You can’t just rely on football to get you through life. Getting hurt was a blessing in disguise.  It allowed me to mature and to look at the game differently. I have to take care of my body. I have to take care of school. Always be on my p’s and q’s.DT: What has been your favorite experience at USC so far?Cravens: The Stanford win last year. I’d never seen 90,000 people storm a field. My helmet got taken away from me, I got picked up. People were yelling at me saying, “Fight On!” That’s probably the ultimate recruiting pitch to throw at somebody. I’m a freshman and I’m living the dream. I used to watch this growing up, and now I’m the one someone at home is watching, saying, “I want to be just like him.”DT: Do you think there’s more pressure playing at USC than at other schools with the legacy and everything?Cravens: With the history that we do have, USC is the most scrutinized school. If you choose ’SC over Notre Dame, Michigan or Alabama, people are going to say you’re an idiot, but we always have the attitude that we don’t care what anyone else thinks. We’re going to go out and fight, and fight on. We are ’SC for a reason. When you look at that logo, you got to respect that.DT: How do you deal with the expectations coming in here?Cravens: That’s what you sign up for. If you don’t want to be on the big stage and play for a school that has pressure, go somewhere else.DT: Do you think USC attracts a certain kind of player?Cravens: Absolutely. You’re not going to come here if you’re not an All-American, if you don’t have that dog in you. If you’re scared of competition, you’re not going to come here. ’SC makes you embrace competition and face it head on.DT: Where do you envision yourself at the end of your senior season?Cravens: Hopefully I’ll be an All-American and an award winner, Thorpe. I want to see us in a national championship game. And we are playing Alabama my senior year, so that will end all the hype about SEC vs. Pac-12.DT: Is your ultimate goal with football to play in the NFL?Cravens: My dream is to make it to the NFL and win a Super Bowl. Not just make it to the NFL, but to win a Super Bowl, and that’s what I plan to do. My favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, but at the same time I love California and the warm weather. So I would not have a problem going to any team in California, Texas or Florida.  I wouldn’t be complaining if any team drafted me, though.DT: What was your best memory growing up?Cravens: I would say whenever my family would go to the beach or when we would all go to my grandma’s house. We would always play football or basketball in the front yard. Somebody would always get hurt, somebody would tell mom, we’d all get yelled at, then we’d be right back out there playing again.DT: Do you have a role model in your family?Cravens: My dad. If it wasn’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be here. He started working me out when I was in fifth grade. I would work out with him when I got home from practice. He made sure I stayed hungry and stayed humble. I love my dad, and I’m grateful for the things he’s done. I talk to him on a daily basis.last_img

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