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Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

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Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:05 pm

from http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/LB-Jake-Muasau-learning-the-middle-/069d66b4-1907-4167-a876-cbc653988f9d

LB Jake Muasau learning the middle

Posted Jun 4, 2012

By Dan Salomone

Jake Muasau impressed the coaches at rookie tryouts and was signed shortly after. Now the Georgia State product is practicing at middle linebacker for the first time.

One, two, three…team.

Linebacker Jake Muasau knew that wouldn’t be the final huddle he broke in a Giants uniform, but it was looking bleak that day in early May.

After the final practice of rookie minicamp, drafted players and undrafted free agents who had already signed with the team were separated from the tryout players. There Muasau took a knee along with the 30 or so NFL hopefuls and were told thanks for coming out by a member of the personnel staff.

“Pretty much saying best of luck in whatever you’re doing next,” Muasau recalled on Friday.

Then coach Tom Coughlin made his way over to their part of the field and gave a similar speech. Muasau, with no other teams on his radar, knew this couldn’t be the end.

“I’m thinking this can’t be it, Lord. I’m just talking to myself, saying this can’t be it,” he continued. “[Coughlin] brought it in and said just stay ready and we broke the huddle, ‘Team on three – one, two, three, team.’ I took one step out and one of the Giants scouts was in my face saying, ‘Jake, just wanted to let you know we love you, you had a great camp and we want to sign you.’”

Now almost a month later, Muasau is entering his fourth week of OTAs and still counting his blessings.

Born in Tacoma, Wash., Muasau’s father, a pastor, moved the family to California shortly after and then eventually to Arizona before his teen years. During this time, however, Muasau’s family life began to unravel and reached a low point when his father passed away when Jake was 13.

“Growing up, my family was too poor to get involved with peewee football. So it was rough. I wouldn’t say we had the typical road to glory,” Muasau said. “I took a tough road, but at the end of the day, I feel it only made me the man I am today -- living on park benches, living out of vehicles growing up. My mother actually had a mental disability, my father passed away, my oldest brother is locked up. During all this commotion, me and my other older brother, Louie, who I’m really close with, we were in a group home at this time. So nothing could get worse and that’s when we switched our whole mentality to like something’s got to give.”

Jake and his brother Louie became a positive force in the community, as did their football skills. Growing up playing on the side of apartment complexes and on the street, they excelled on the field in high school, and Jake was being heavily recruited. However, when Louie went off to college, Jake lost his guidance and fell into trouble as a senior.

As a result, colleges starting backing away from Muasau (who played safety in high school) and he lost his verbal commitment to Nebraska. Jake then decided to rejoin his brother in the junior college ranks at Phoenix College.

Two seasons later, an opportunity of a lifetime opened up to the brothers.

Longtime coach Bill Curry was in the process of establishing and building the Georgia State Panthers football program and had his eyes on Jake and Louie in 2010 for the first season in school history.

“We wanted to try to stay together, and Georgia State was actually the only school that wanted us both,” Jake said. “So we said, hey, let’s do it. It’s a new program. We wanted to help build a new program and make history. So 30-40 years from now, we’ll be able to say we were on that first team.”

Muasau had NFL aspirations, but he just didn’t know he’d end up with the defending Super Bowl champions. And maybe not at middle linebacker.

At Georgia State, Muasau played a hybrid position termed “Bandit,” which was a combination of outside linebacker and standup defensive end. Now he’s in the middle and looking the part. So much so that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell thought he was former Giants linebacker Kawika Mitchell the first time he saw him. Perhaps it was the trademark long hair of Muasau [pronounced MWAH-sow], who has Samoan roots.

“He comes to the meeting room, he’s prepared,” Fewell said this past Wednesday. “[Linebackers] Coach [Jim Hermmann] has done a nice job of getting him focused on what to do. We saw something in him at rookie minicamp and said ‘Hey, let’s give this guy a shot’ because he was really professional at how he went about his work and business. We think if we give him the opportunity to get enough reps at the position he’s playing right now, we might find something. Obviously, preseason games will tell, but we like what we saw in rookie minicamp and we like what we’ve seen in these three OTAs.”

Meanwhile, Muasau can turn to his brother, who played the position.

“Even at Georgia State, I always said to my brother, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ I’m glad I had my brother playing next to me,” Muasau said. “When I came to the Giants and they threw me at middle linebacker, I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ At Mike linebacker, you’ve got to learn both sides, but the transition is going smoothly. I’m just trying to learn the playbook and learn day by day.

“It’s a true blessing, especially coming here on a trial basis and then actually impressing the coaches. I was just amazed at that, and then just to be able to play with the stature of this team and to be able to compete with these guys, it’s just an amazing feeling to put on the New York Giants helmet and a jersey with my number on it.”

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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:10 pm

Jake Muasa featued prominently in Jim Hermann's recent comment (from Giants.com)

Q: You had Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker. Is that job up for grabs or is that his job to lose?
A: The good thing is that we have competition. The young guys are good, young players. Mark Herzlich is out there. Jake [Muasau], he’s doing good. We’re experimenting with Greg Jones on the outside and inside. We do have some good young players. It’s good competition. Just keep competing and the best player will play.

Q: What prompted moving Greg Jones to outside linebacker?
A: We’re down a guy because Clint [Sintim] is not practicing. We need to put three out there, so the first three practices were Jake on the inside, the Mike, Jones on the outside, the Sam, and we’ll switch here. We’ll try a couple of different guys.

Q: What prompted the team to give a guy from a small program like Jake Muasau an opportunity?
A: I know he came from a small program, but he probably should’ve played at a higher level of college ball. He’s a big-body guy, very intelligent for a guy coming in trying out. He was able to come out and improve every day and understand the concepts and he has really good movement. When you have a guy like that that’s a bonus… He’s going to have a legitimate chance to make the team.

Q: He played a lot of outside linebacker in college…
A: I think at his college he played outside, he was on the line of scrimmage. This is the first time he’s been on top of the ball, and it’s been natural for him. Sometimes that’s a hard transition.
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:22 pm

Here is his profile from georia state

http://www.georgiastatesports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=12700&ATCLID=204876252

In 2 seasons (21 games), playing OLB he has 67 UA tckl, 39 ast, 16.5 TFL, 7 sack, 3 ints, 3 pbu, 4 FR, 4 FF

His proday stats are

Dates: 03/26/12
Height: 6'01"
Weight: 243
40 Yrd Dash: 4.74
20 Yrd Dash: 2.72
10 Yrd Dash: 1.63
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 20
Vertical Jump: 32
Broad Jump: 09'07"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.39
3-Cone Drill: 6.96
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:24 pm

I am keeping an eye on this kid, he is a very intriguing prospect. I am looking forward to seeing what this guy can to on the field.

To make the roster he is going to have to likely beat out Blackburn, Herzlich or Jones
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:14 pm

it's good to see our young lb'er prospects stepping up and impressing.
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:48 pm

56 Crazed Dogs wrote:it's good to see our young lb'er prospects stepping up and impressing.

What I like is that this kid is that he forced his way into a crowed LB situation

Lets not forget that Jones, Herzlich, Williams and Paysinger didn't have an offseason to prepare for last year and still did ok.
With a full offseason these guys could all really step it up.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rivers starts working his way into the MLB situation. Fewell and Hermann have mentoned a few times that they want to start working him in there. In fact i wouldn't be too surprised if Boley or Rivers ended up at MLB (who will depend on Rivers progression).
It wouldn't be that unlike Fewell moving Poslunzsy inside at Buffalo. We have the big bodies up front with Canty, Joseph and Andrews.

The LB battle will be very interesting.
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Pizan on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:11 am

Sounds like a potential ST's standout. When I look at the bottom of our Backers and the guys he can beat out I think, Paysinger and Jones. Blackburn doesn't watch it he may lose his spot as well. Herzlich is my bet as our starter in the middle unless Boley or Rivers are moved inside.
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:34 pm

Musasa worked at safety in day one of mini camp.

Likely due to sash's injury and managed reps for Phillips

But it dies shoe good versatlity
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  Pizan on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:18 am

I wonder how permanent this move is. He's going to be an interesting player to watch at camp. Like I said earlier, he has all the makings to be an exceptional specials player.
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Re: Interesting article on LB Jake Musasa

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:14 pm

I think safety will likely be his best chance at finding a spot on the team. Linebacker is stacked with young depth that the Giants aren't ready to cut ties with yet.
That said, he likely finds his way stashed on the practice squad this season.
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