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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Manuel Najera, LB, University of Jamestown

Manuel Najera Jamestown
Manuel Najera the hard-hitting linebacker from the University of Jamestown recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Manuel Najera
  • Height: 6’0 
  • Weight: 225
  • Position: Linebacker
  • College: University of Jamestown
  • Twitter: @Iamrelentless52

What is the best restaurant in your hometown city? 

• There are so many places I love going to when I get home. One of My favorite burger places is Hawkins House of Burgers on the corner of Central and Imperial Hwy in Los Angeles. They have some great burgers and fries. 

 When breaking down your film what will stick out?  

• Attributes that would stick out the most in my film are my violence, instinct, high motor and good IQ. 

 If you won the lotto, what is the first thing you would do with the money?  

• If I won the lotto the first time I’d do is buy my mother any house she wanted and then I would invest some of the money so I could give back to my community in South Los Angeles. 

 What has been your biggest failure? 

• My biggest failure in my young life was repeating my freshman year of high school. It gave me a reality check and taught me the importance of school and football. I wasn’t serious about it until I realized that I needed a degree to get out of my low-income living situation and football could help me accomplish that.

 What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•Being a servant leader

 Who is the hardest working teammate on your team?

• I would say my brother Ross Monson is the hardest working guy on the team. tough guy, he’s coming off an ugly injury.

 Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

• I’ve had so many but the one that stuck the most is Manny. The funniest one I’ve had is Flying Hawaiian. 

 What is your degree in, if you do not make it as a football player, what is your dream job?

•My degree will be in Psychology. After I make it as a football player I want to help high-risk kids by counseling them. I plan on working in an inner-city. I remember being helped as a child so I want to pay it forward.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

What is your coolest life moment? 

•I had a chance to visit El Salvador a couple of times and experiencing what a third world country looks like opened my eyes. To me it was cool because I was able to learn a lot of new things that I was never exposed too and also taught me to be more grateful.  

What song would you sing at Karaoke night?

• One Love by Bob Marley.

If you could pick any actor to play you in a movie, who are you picking? 

• Denzel Washington is the man!!! 

Who is your favorite football team? 

• I don’t have a favorite football team because I love football too much to have just one favorite team but if I had to choose it would be my hometown team, the Los Angeles Rams. 

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?It would say BEWARE, HOT and SPICY What is your biggest fear? 

• Having a running back hit a wide hole and breaking for a big run.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  Currently playing now, inside linebacker Blake Martinez. He’s a beast. 

Take us through game day, How do you prepare? 

• I always wake up at 7 am on the dot. Jump out of bed to take a shower. Cook and eat my breakfast (Ground chicken with red/green bell peppers and a side of corn) then eat breakfast with my team. Take a 30-minute nap before I head to the locker room. Once in the locker room I roll out and get tapped. After getting taped I put some reggae music or classical music and head out to the field to warm up before team stretching. After warming up I come back to finish getting dressed and I do my breathing exercises. 

Do you have any hobbies?

• I enjoy being physically active or hanging out at the beach being a beach bum. I got into fishing more this summer so I’ll add that to the list.

If you had to compare yourself to someone in the NFL, who would that be?

 • Junior Seau and Troy Polamalu mix.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My mother has been the biggest influence. She’s taught me how to be a hard worker, always told me to chase my dreams and to put God first in everything. She was the best example I had growing up.

What motivates you to work hard?

• Growing up I had very little. My mother always put my sisters and me first so watching her break her back working hard inspired me to keep pushing. I never want my children to experience the living situation I had growing up. I want to earn the life I want and repay my mother for it.

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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