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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Juan Lua, DB, University of Massachusetts

Juan Lua, DB, University of Massachusetts
Juan Lua the standout defensive back from the University of Massachusetts recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Juan Lua
  • Position: DB
  • College: University of Massachusetts
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • X (Twitter): @j_lua3
  • Instagram: @juanluajr

What made you decide to be a football player?

I’ve been wanting to play football for as long as I can remember. It’s something that’s in my family, my blood. From an early childhood, I can recall watching my uncle, Oscar Lua, play football on national television, winning national titles. From that point in my life, I remember having an intense passion for the game and the desire to truly be the best player I possibly could be.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

It’s hard for me to pinpoint an exact moment and call it my absolute favorite, but one in particular that stands out to me is getting my first FBS start at UMass against Toledo. I remember that exact feeling before the game of excitement, nervousness, and so many other emotions. I remember finally getting to showcase all of the hard work and prove those who doubted me wrong. I ultimately showed that I could compete with the best, along with grading out as one of the top CBs of PFF that week, as well as making it on SportsCenter.

What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?

I want to continue to play the game I love. Obviously, the dream is to make it to the NFL and make a name for myself, but I am ready to go wherever this journey takes me. For whichever team takes a chance on me, they’re going to get a competitive defensive back who’s going to dominate at any level.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day, who would it be and why?

Definitely Troy Polamalu. His humility and hunger in regards to the game of football is unmatched. He was my favorite player growing up and someone who I model my game after. He was someone who played aggressively and highly instinctively, which I highly admire.

Which one of your family members inspires you the most and why?

I am obviously inspired by both my mother and father because they made me the person I am today. However, I think my grandmother inspires me the most because she is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to. My grandmother immigrated to the United States from Mexico and was a seasonal farmer for most of her life. She worked herself to the bone until one day she accomplished her dream of opening up a restaurant, which she was able to share with her family.

What is your favorite defensive scheme and why?

My favorite defensive scheme has to be cover two trap coverage. It’s the defensive scheme that I learned with Coach Don Brown. This coverage is super aggressive, not allowing the offense to get any sort of free access, essentially forcing them to try us on a deep shot one-on-one. The thing I like about this scheme is that it allowed me to play press and get my hands on receivers.

What should we know about Juan Lua the person?

Juan Lua is a hardworking and coachable guy who’s not afraid of a challenge or getting out of his comfort zone. I showed this multiple times while in college, being able to manage classes, running a startup company, and playing football.

What stands out about your film the most?

My coverage ability, speed, and ball skills. I know my tape showcases my athleticism and competitive edge when going against anyone I face.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

Life is never easy, neither is football, and challenges will occur. However, I always found that your situation is what you make of it. I went through so many challenges in my career and through life, having to take the JUCO route before making D1, but I found that when going through adversity, you come out stronger and better at the end of it.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would get a selfless player in me. Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to win, from playing anywhere I’m needed to contributing on special teams, and also bringing a coachable and positive attitude to the facility every day. On top of that, I push the people around me to be better by not accepting mediocrity.

What do you love the most about the game of football?

Football is and always will be my escape. It’s the part of my day that I look forward to the most. It’s what I love to do. From the doors it’s been able to open for me, from getting a Master’s degree to moving all the way across the country. The love I have for this game cannot just be explained through words.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?

The most underrated player that I have ever played with is Korvin Feagins. He had some of the most ridiculous ball skills I’ve ever seen, along with an impressively fast change of direction. I believe he should have been a Division 1 football player, but I think recruiters were never able to see past his size.

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