Name: Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea
Position: Outside Linebacker
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Makani: 3 words that would describe my game of play is High Motor, Instinctive, and Passion.
Q: How are you going to train/prepare this offseason in preparation for the draft or other pro opportunities?
Makani: For the past 9 weeks I have been training at Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue Washington. They specialize in Combine preparation and my progress so far has been tremendous. My numbers in every combine event has made great improvement. The position technician is also very smart and prepared me big time for my pro days.
Q: If you could compare yourself to one current or former NFL player who would it be and why?
Makani: I would compare my style of play very similar to Hau’oli Kikaha, the OLB for the New Orleans Saints. His ability to play in space as a Linebacker and Pass rush on 3rd down makes him a big time player for any team. I feel I have the same ability to play both positions as well. We both can play special teams as well.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
Makani: When I watch film there are a lot of things to look for. When I break down a team I usually look at their down and distance calls, which will give you a big clue what on what they’ll run in the game. Teams usually favor certain plays in situations and as a defensive player it’s crucial you know it. Players also give away plays in their alignments, feet or even their hand placements during pre snap. Film is life when it comes to playing football.
Q: What separates you from other players at your position?
Makani: What separates me from others is my ability to be an every down player. A lot of guys are 3rd down rushers or just 1st and 2nd down backers, but I can stay in the entire drive and produce.
Q: What kind of abilities would you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
Makani: I think I would be a huge asset for a team because I will perform greatly on the field and make a change in the community. I plan on working close with foster children and creating organizations that would benefit children of rough up bringings. I grew up in foster care and feel the pain they feel, so I plan on being a positive influence to them and showing them that we can come from rough backgrounds and still chase our dreams.
Q: What is your final pitch/sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
Makani: At 9 years old I was put into foster care. At 14, I was cut from my JV football team. At 18, I fostered 5 children, becoming the youngest foster parent in the country. At 21 I was named Foster Caregiver of the year. Against all odds I’ve continued to pursue my dream of playing in the National Football League. You won’t find somebody that works as hard or fights through challenges with as much passion as I do. I come to win, nothing else.