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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Lokeni Toailoa, ILB, UCLA

Lokeni Toailoa is one of the most underrated inside linebackers in the NFL Draft out of UCLA. Recently, Lokeni sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot for this prospect interview.
  • Name: Lokeni Toailoa
  • Height: 6’1
  • Weight: 241
  • Position: ILB
  • College: UCLA
  • Twitter: @Lokenithegreat

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

•  Rialto, Ca. I love the pride that the people from Rialto take in the city. Whether it be athletes, musicians, barbers, or clothing line designers. I love the pride that everyone takes in being from Rialto.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

• 1: Film study- once you understand the bigger picture of things and know what/when to expect plays it allows you to play faster, it allows you to do more seeing and doing as opposed to thinking while playing. 2: Practice – once you understand something on a mental level it makes the doing part easier and more efficient. 3: strength and conditioning – the easiest of the 3 to do but just as important because you have to be physically able to compete and execute the things you learn in film and practice.

What do you worry about, and why?

• I tend to worry about those closest to me, my loved ones. Growing up the big brother with 7 other siblings  and becoming the man of the house, second to my Dad, has made me always worry and lookout for those who I care most for.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• I failed at becoming a starter junior season. I was of course frustrated with myself but not toward the coaches. I still approached everyday the same with a growth mindset and never let my frustrations show or hinder me no matter how I felt or what my teammates would say about it. I overcame this failure by simply just showing up everyday with a growth mindset and trying to get better each day and throughout the course of the season my role on the team started to increase, both on special teams and defense.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My ability to overcome adversity and meet it head on

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

•  Kyler Murray

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

•  Eventually take over the family landscaping and tree trimming business. 

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

• Room, desk, car

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

•  One family member, if I could save one family member and don’t I would not be able to live with that 

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• The Rock, in the fast and furious series. He is a good guy at the end of the day but still gets to have fun and do cool stuff while saving the day. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• Losing my Mom before senior season. Playing football has always brought my mom endless amounts of joy and happiness from watching me play on TV, so now that she’s physically here I know that she is now literally with me every step of the way whether it be a workout or game, she is always right here on my shoulder watching over me and is what keeps me going everyday.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• During breakfast in 7th grade a bird pooped in my hair in front of everybody

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  A sack I had versus USC my junior year, we beat them that year for the first time in a few years and took back the victory bell.

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  Never fold – Rich Homie Quan

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• A growth mindset – having the mindset that you get to do something as opposed to having to do something. This mindset can be applied to everything, whether it be diet, film, practice, or lift. Having that mindset to want to get better everyday in everything gives you the best chances at growth.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

• My mom. To spend one last day with her and thank her for everything and to let her know much I love and miss her everyday. 

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

• Club Get Loose!

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Jayon Brown

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. Being liked will not get you places or help you get things done like being respected will. 

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• Trent Richardson with his family and his finances because I know first hand how it feels to want to take care of your family and being the provider.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to lose

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My dad, his work ethic and grind is what has helped me get to where i am today. His hustler mindset, going door to door and knocking on doors looking for work so he can provide for me and my family. I would watch him knock on 10 doors and tell people he’s a tree trimmer and watch them all close the door in his face, but that never stopped him because he had a family to take care of and provide for. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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