Isaia "Junior" Vimoto
Oklahoma Panhandle State University #8
IOG: Tell me about your background and story.
Junior- I was born into the military life. Life for my family was always on the move. I have a big family, two brothers and two sisters. My family moved a lot due to the Army, so we never really settled into one place. I never really settled in with a certain group of friends and had the opportunity to grow up w/ them. I was always the new guy and I also had to prove myself when it came to sports. I attended three different high schools so I never had the chance to build with the same teammates and coaches. Every time I would start to be comfortable or start to prove myself my father would get orders to move somewhere new. I had my best chances with football when I lived in WA for my Sophomore and Junior year of high school. I began to build up my relations with the players and coaches. I started to play more behind our superstar safety who went to WSU my junior year. So the upcoming senior year would've been my year to showcase it all and to prove everyone that I can start at safety and do real good at it. My teammates and coaches had confidence in me, but my father received news to move to Texas right before my senior season would start. My coaches and players asked over and over if I could stay and play my senior season there. They provided a place for me to stay and everything. They were gonna help fly me out to Texas right after the season would be over. My dad simply said, "if he could provide for me that I was going to stay under his roof. I would be alright in Texas and that i would play there." I moved to Texas not wanting to play at all because again I had to start over new. New coaches, new players, they had their players already, they had their favorites, it was new everything. I didn't want to go through it again, but I decided to go out for the team. I didn't really play at all my senior year. Long story short, I had it all in WA, when I moved to Texas it went away.
IOG: Why OPSU?
Junior: As you read above I didn't really have any opportunities to play my senior year. The head coach for OPSU came down and talked to the seniors and my friend and I talked about and we decided to go. Took advantage of something that not everyone is privileged to do and that is play ball at the collegiate level. When I got here I developed a relationship with a good group of guys and that's really what helped me get through the past years.
IOG: Favorite moment in your playing career?
Junior: I don't really have a favorite moment in my playing career. My favorite moments are when I get to see my team succeed and having fun while they do it. This place isn't known much for football and definitely not known for winning. We've changed that and that is amazing to me. I have one last chance this season to make an impact and to prove to the world that we can play with the best.
IOG: It says you play OLB and SS. Which one do you prefer? Which one do you play more of? Which one would you be better suited for in the NFL?
Junior: I prefer playing SS. I'm comfortable with either position but SS would be best for me at the next level. I've played half my career at safety and the other half at OLB.
IOG: Where you expect to get drafted and by who?
Junior: I'm not expecting to get drafted. I'm just being honest. I know the way it works and I know that I am at a small school. I just want an opportunity to showcase myself, whether it be at bowl games, tryouts, combines, etc...
IOG: Favorite team and athlete?
Junior: My favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. My favorite athlete is Troy Polamalu. I love how he plays the game.
IOG: Team you want to play for most?
Junior: Any team, no specifics. Just having the opportunity to play at that level would be an honor.
IOG: Who did you admire in football growing up?
Junior: I admired Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed in football growing up. I loved their style of play. Their knowledge and instincts were amazing. Their toughness and hard hitting ability is something that really stood out to me too.
IOG: Who do you compare your game to?
Junior: I don't know really. I just play the game.
Message to the fans.
Junior: I'm blessed to have the opportunity to play college ball and I am hoping for the chance to play at the next level. Take advantage of every opportunity thrown your way. If you want something you gotta go get it. Nothing comes to those who sit and wait. Stay hungry, stay humble.
Check out Isaia "Junior" Vimoto's highlights in the link below!