Joe Talamantez is a senior running back at Don Lugo High School. He’s also played outside linebacker and cornerback for the team. In this edition of the Don Lugo High School series, Joe took time to speak with Locker Room Update about his career background in football, as well as his aspirations with athletics and academics.
When did you first fall in love with playing football?
I started playing football in the fifth grade, I liked it, but didn’t particularly love it. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I began to love the sport.
Who was your role model in football when you were growing up, and who was your role model
outside of the sport during your childhood?
My role model growing up was Bo Jackson, due to the fact that he was able to excel in both the NFL and MLB. My role model outside of football is my grandfather who continuously works hard and motivates me to achieve my life goals.
What’s the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you?
A coach once told me, with hard work, desire, and effort, any goal is obtainable.
Do you have a dream situation for your college career?
As of right now, I am focusing on the academic aspects of my future. I would love to play at the collegiate level and plan on attending San Diego State, Santa Barbara, or UCLA, but my academics will always come first.
As a running back, what do you believe to be your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?
As a running back I think my biggest strength is my toughness, both physically and mentally. No matter how hard of a hit there is or how poor myself or the team are performing, I’ll always get up, have a positive attitude, and put my greatest effort into helping the team win. I believe my greatest weakness is my vision or ability to recognize potential cut back lanes when the intended gap is plugged.
Where do you see yourself in the near future?
In the near future, I see myself attending one of the prior universities I mentioned, studying business and psychology.
And to close, what’s the most important thing about you off the field that makes you a better player on the field?
My work ethic in class and ability to adjust to different circumstances makes me a better player on the field. Opponents can be bigger, hit harder, and run faster, but I can always find a way, even if it’s just one time, to outsmart and outperform them.