Do you imagine that the first thing Coaches do is rate kids by size and speed and what we call the “Look Test” when deciding on who gets to move on? If you do you would be right. The odds are against a guy who does not fit the standards for each position. At the D-1 level and at the premier schools it is even harder.
Tonight the Oregonian’s Andrew Greif wrote an amazing story on Mana Greig of Hawaii and the fact that he is starting at Left Guard for Oregon and playing on a scholarship at 5’11” and 280 lbs. You have to read this folks. It was not easy and is not easy but he is the only player under 6′ in the US to make it at the D-1 level and start on an Offensive Line.
I want to thank my brother, Coach Brian Derby of Hawaii, who Mana so correctly credited for his abilities. Brian is a consummate teacher who many believe is the finest Offensive Line Coach in the Country. Every year for 22 weekends Brian gives his time free to the big boys of the Islands. He and his Coaches are amazing people. And I have modeled much of my work after them.
Mana is like so many Brian has worked with.
At least 15 kids that we know of have made it to the NFL with Brian’s help in the past 17 years and at last count over 200 into colleges. I am so grateful he accepted my invite to come to Oregon in 2005 and that he came and brought his staff for no pay to Oregon for 6 out of the 7 years we asked him to.
Mana is perhaps the best case study of the Derby Camp logo attached below. And he is the proof to every shorter thicker linemen int he country that you can make it.
I filmed in in Eugene at the Nike Camp in the 1-1 Linemen battles 3 plus years ago and Mana was just destroying kids 6’5″- to 6’8″. They were all humbled believe me. His feet and hands are text book. You watch this guy in slow motion and it is just a thing of beauty!
Brian will be back this summer and if your kids play at any age get them to the camp! Thanks Brian!!
And Mana your the man! Amazing… truly amazing story!