Football Players Smart In Their Own Way

LA Times

Christian Tupou is a student-athlete. He plays football, and more specifically he plays defensive tackle.

The combination of these simple traits traps USC's Tupou in a series of stereotypes that thrust him to the bottom of the intellectual scale at a top-tier university.

But listening to Tupou talk and watching him show his football skills muddies the water. The starting redshirt senior has boatloads of athletic intelligence in addition to school smarts.

With fall camp fast approaching, he's studying Pacific 12 Conference centers and guards to see which hand they use to snap the ball, and to see how far apart their feet are. In games he'll use his off-season studying to help him shoot his gaps. Then when the...

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