Jacob Manu And His Rise To Greatness

Jacob Manu And His Rise To Greatness

From scout team standout to the heart of Arizona’s defense: in his freshman season, linebacker Jacob Manu rose not only through the Wildcat’s ranks, but exploded beyond when he received conference-wide recognition as a Pac-12 Freshman of The Week. 

Standing at 5’11” and 220 pounds, Manu is on the lighter side for a Linebacker, and at the start of his Freshman season he’d been assigned as a scout team player. However, he rose to the challenge and relentlessly put in the work, catching the attention of defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen, who suggested they give him a shot.

Since then, they’ve never looked back.

Beginning with the game against Washington in October, Manu became a full-time starter for the Wildcats. Though they took a close 39-49 loss, Manu captured a career high of ten tackles, plus a pass breakup and two QB hurries. 

This personal performance was only rivaled during ‘Zona’s massive upset against UCLA, in which they claimed a 34-28 win at the Rose Bowl. Manu tied his personal record of ten tackles, but even more impressively, he took home the title of Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. 

After grinding out a name for himself on his team, and then attracting league-wide attention this past year, Manu has proved to be a defensive menace, and one whom it would be wise to watch out for in the upcoming season.