2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Giovanni Manu, LT, University of British Columbia
- Name: Giovanni Manu
- Position: Left Tackle
- College: University of British Columbia
- Height: 6’8
- Weight: 350
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2024 NFL Draft?
I believe my size and measurements contribute a lot to making me a potential top prospect in the NFL 2024 draft. I have a 35 and a half arm length together with a 83 and half wing span. My height and weight as well will attract many in the NFL but I believe what will really open eyes and make scouts in the NFL potentially force their organization to take a chance on me is my ability to move quickly at my size which I believe is rare to see.
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
Around 10 or 11 years old I believe it started with seeing pictures of my older brother playing high school football just seeing him in shoulder pads and hitting people I thought was really cool, he would also show me a lot of highlights of NFL athletes such as Ray Lewis. From then on I gained a large interest in the sport.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
I am a tenacious person. Whatever you say I can’t do or won’t achieve I will set my mind to it and that’s all I’m focused on achieving and no one can’t stop me or talk me out of it.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
Third world countries’ high school sports programs. I come from a third world Island in the South Pacific called Tonga and the number one sport down there is rugby. Many kids on the island can be seen playing the sport on open fields. There have been some great rugby players to come out of the Island however kids back there right now don’t have many opportunities to join the sport and compete and hopefully go professional. Only a select few of high schools offer the sport and only a few can join because affording fees to play on the team and equipment such as cleats is unaffordable to many and I would like to hopefully one day donate to high schools back home to help advance their programs so that more kids could join and pursue their dreams of playing professional rugby or whatever sport it is.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Treating football as if it was your 9-5 work was probably one of the best pieces of advice I have received from my head coach. My head coach one day told me to treat football like it’s your 9 to 5 job, if you’re late to football meetings imagine being late to work that results in being fired which then results in no food being put on the table for your family. Want to achieve success in this sport then work hard and impress others just like a 9 to 5 hard work results in a rise of pay which then means your family will be living comfortably become lazy in football and don’t work hard then you will be complacent and not achieve anything same situation in a workplace and consequences would be severe. Just the way my head coach connected football with real life situations really opened my eyes and this piece of advice he gave me always has stuck with me and I think about on the way to football practice/games or while i’m working out to motivate myself.
Who was your childhood hero?
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
Gavin Coakes my center on the offensive line at my school
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who litter
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
Hardest moment in my life I had to overcome was probably moving away from home to come live in Canada. Not only did I leave the island I grew up in and so used to but I also left my parents and I was really young when I left I was 11 years old. I had to adapt to only seeing my parents during christmas and new years and if lucky and my parents have time and can afford the airfare I would see them during summer breaks. It was going from seeing them everyday to only seeing them once to twice a year. It became harder when I enrolled in High School and started playing sports, my parents till this day haven’t seen me play football in person. I however have my older brother and older sister out here with me who are really supportive so I didn’t have to face this adversity alone.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
UBC is a wonderful campus. It is probably the nicest in Canada, it’s also a top 50 university in the world so academically this is where a lot of people in Vancouver and across Canada and even the United States wish to attend. Besides that, this school is special to me because of the friendships I have created over the past 4 years here, I also met my girlfriend here who has been extremely supportive of my college football career over the years and has helped me a lot during stressful times.
What is your favorite snack food?
I don’t really snack a lot but if I had to pick it would probably be fruit. Favorite food however is either pho or sushi.
What is the best part of football?
Winning is easily the best part, nothing better than seeing coaches smiling and happy as well as teammates.
If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
A once in a lifetime talent you don’t want to miss giving a chance to
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL, who would it be?
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Hart and the Rock because I think it would be the funniest dinner and most memorable conversations ever.