Chance to work with Penei Sewell represents big advantage for Giovanni Manu

The Detroit Lions added developmental offensive lineman Giovanni Manu, and he'll have a respected mentor in Penei Sewell to work with.

It's not every day that players get a chance to work with their idols, but Giovanni Manu will get that opportunity as he joins the Detroit Lions.

Manu was a surprise fourth-round pick of the Lions, and in the aftermath, it was clear he liked his landing spot given he gets a chance to play with Penei Sewell and develop at his own pace.

In an interview, Manu lauded what Sewell means to Polynesians and noted Sewell's mpact on his motivation to make the NFL.

"I look up to Penei (Sewell) a lot. I do study a lot of his film. I think he's the best tackle in the league right now. He moves so fluid for how big he is. Not just that, but he's an inspriation to the Polynesian community. I remember when I was in college, I watched his draft day process. It was jst bascially a vlog of his whole day of being drafted. I remember he ended the vlog by saying 'any Polynesian kids out there' and he named all the islands and I remember he said Tongan, he said 'if you kids out there want to make it to the NFL, you can truly make it if you put your mind to it.' I remember I was in my second year of college and he said that. I remember him saying that, and it really motivated me. I told myself, 'if one of my fellow Polynesian brothers could make it which is him, and he's giving me words of motivation, there's no reason I can't either.' So he's a true inspiration to not only Samoa but the whole Polynesian commuinity. It's great that I'll be playing with a guy like that. I just hope to soak up as much information and technique from him."

Coming to Detroit, Manu won't have to go it alone in terms of learning the league or the offensive line. He will have Sewell to lean on for critical advice and guidance in the often turbulent rookie year. That's a huge advantage for him to have such a player in the same locker room. At most other stops, Manu wouldn't have enjoyed such a comfort. With the Lions, he will not only be closer to Canada, but have Sewell at his disposal.

If Manu develops into a key future piece for Detroit, the comfort and leadership Sewell provides will likely figure as a major reason why.

Penei Sewell promises to give back to NFL's Polynesian community

Sewell was humbled by the shout-out from Manu after being drafted. He understands the unique role he has with Many, and also in the league as the next wave of Polynesian players enter.

As Sewell told the media, he's already pondering his new role.

"I was just having a conversation with my wife the other day of how the roles kind of switch and how I kind of looked up to players and how I try to do things a certain way that they would do it. Now that where I'm at today and seeing all these players look up to me, it's a responsibility that I won't take lightly. I promise I'll give back. It's just in my nature. To see players that talk so highly of me, I have to do that and I can't wait to go to work with those guys and I'm pretty sure they're great guys."

Manu will get to enjoy some up close, hands-on leadership from Sewell, which is a major advantage to him as he transitions to the NFL.


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