Former Georgia State linebacker Jake Muasau was invited to work out for the New York Giants and earned a contract that will give him a chance to make either the 53-man roster, or eight-man practice squad.
Muasau took some time to answer a few questions about his experience.
Oh, and look for a story in Sunday’s paper that will (hopefully) tell you where Muasau’s courage comes from.
Q: You and [Raiders draftee] Christo Bilukidi are trailblazers for Georgia State’s team as the first two players to make it to an NFL camp. Does that make you proud?
A: I’m very proud. During rookie camp, talking to rookies and veterans, meeting a lot of them, there are guys from the big schools all over the country, Virginia Tech, LSU, etc, and they see my sweats with Georgia State on them.
They would say, “Where’s that?”
I would say, “It’s a I-AA program in Atlanta.”
They would say, “They’re like Georgia Tech?”
I would say, “No, Georgia State.”
Talking with Christo last night we had already made history as the first football program at Georgia State. Now we’ve made history as the first football players in the NFL. We were giving each other words of encouragement.
Q: Was there a moment in camp where you said to yourself, “I can do this”?
A: A couple of weeks before camp I had that moment. I was claiming it [a roster spot]. I was thinking positive. I was looking at the best of the situation; they didn’t draft a linebacker. They brought six linebackers in for a tryout in the rookie camp. They signed me. During the fist day I was really trying to go out there and do my best, show my personality on and off the field.
When I’d get sore, Philippians 4:13 kept going through my head. It gave me juice to grind it out and work hard. It was amazing because after the second practice on Saturday which ended the rookie camps, coach Coughlin separated the drafted guys from the undrafted guys.
We took a knee and an NFL guy was talking to us, letting us know that they thanked us for coming out, telling us to stay ready, best of luck, basically a thanks for playing speech. And then coach Coughlin came over and was letting everybody know thanks for coming. While he was up there talking to us, I was thinking “‘This can’t be it.” I didn’t want to be back at the hotel stressing out.
After the talked for a few minutes, he ended the huddle and we said “Team” on 3.
As we dispersed, I took one step back, and turned around and one of the Giants scouts had his hand out, and said, “Jake, we love you, you had a great camp, we want to sign you.” I shook his hand, gave him a big old hug and put him back down. He said, “Call your agent.”
Some of the other guys overheard that, as soon as he said that I sprinted to the locker room. I got to the lockerroom and called my agent, called my family.
It’s a day I’ll never forget.
Q: What was your best play in camp?
A: I didn’t have any interceptions in the seven-on-sevens. I had a pass break-up. I jumped up pretty high and knocked the ball down. I just went out there and showed them my skills. They have me at middle linebacker out there. It was a different transition to that.
Q: Were you influenced by Junior Seau?
A: Most definitely. Junior Seau was an amazing player. My mother actually told me that somewhere down the line we were related. He’s been one of my favorite players going up. He opened doors to the NFL with the Samoan culture.
Without him, Samoan players might not have been getting picked up and drafted. He was the guy.
Q: When you signed with Georgia State, did you ever think you would one day be in the NFL?
A: No, I did not. Going into Georgia state, I was more focused on building the program and being a part of history. I had aspirations of playing in the NFL.