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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Aiulua Fanene, DT, University of Arizona

NFL Draft Diamonds has been providing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 3 years and this year we mixed things up a bit. Our questions are designed to give our readers a little more insight on the draft eligible player. We hope to bring you more than 350 interviews of NFL Draft Prospects this season. You will be able to track them all on the front page of our website in the banner to the right.  Now let’s meet our next prospect!!!!

Aiulua Fanene should be in a line for a wonderful NFL career just like his brother. This kid is huge with a great motor.

What is your name?

Aiulua Fanene 

What is your Height/Weight?

6’5 – 310lbs

What is your position?

Defensive Tackle

Where do you play college football?

University of Arizona

Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field?

I enjoy giving back to the community. I believe the kids are the future. I would go to local elementary and middle schools to speak to them about the importance of sports and the skills and friendships that can be cultivated from them. Being a strong role model for these kids is an important role, and I hold that to a very high standard. 

What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?

Astronomy 

Where are you from?

Nu’uuli, American Samoa

Who is your role model, and why?

My father, because he was able to teach us to be self less and to give back. He always taught me that nothing comes easy and hardwork is the foundation to success. He taught me how to be a man and to take responsibility for my actions, and was able to raise 13 children successfully. 

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I’ve played rugby since I was a kid and played both football and basketball in high school. 

Did you play any other positions in football?

I’ve play both offensively and defensively since high school. 

At your position, what separates you from others?

Being on Defense you have to be mobile and agile. I believe that I am quick and athletic for my size. I always play with a goal In mind and strive for perfection in my techniques and throughout my plays. 

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When breaking down film, I look for the offensive scheme that is being ran. I look for the weakness’s from the offensive players, and I look for how I can improve and change my techniques to make tackles and to help my team make plays. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

I am my own toughest opponent. 

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

I would compare myself to Haloti Ngata because he is aggressive when he runs plays and I can play side line to side line just like he does. 

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my father passing away in 2012. I overcame this by keeping faith that one day I would see him again and stick to the teachings and to the lessons he taught my family. HIs death gave me the strength I needed to seal my faith in family and in my abilities. 

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I pray on my own before every game in a quiet place to keep my team and myself safe throughout the game. 

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my natural strength and my mindset. I tell myself everyday that I am capable and I don’t let roadblocks get my down. I am very resilient. 

What is your biggest weakness?

Oreos and chocolate ice cream. 

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I would say that I am an athlete that will put 100% into the team I am playing for. I do not complain and hold myself to a high standard and will always comply with rules and guidelines set by any team or organization. 

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?

I enjoyed watching my brother Jonathan Fanene playing growing up for the Bengals. He has always been my role model and a good example for me. He is 10 years older than me so I have grown up wanting to follow in his footsteps. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

I would just choose to have dinner with my father. 

What will be the first big item you buy once you are in the NFL?

I am going to go back to Tonga and build a house for my mother. 

 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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