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Hercules Mata’afa is flying under the radar, and he’s fine with that

WSU’s former defensive lineman is ready to prove himself in the NFL.

Former Washington State Cougars defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa will be drafted into the NFL this month, but he may not go as early as his production would indicate.

In an article for CBS Sports, Mata’afa provided some insight on how he has gotten here, and what’s next in his career. While he led the Pac-12 in tackles for loss and sacks in 2017, NFL scouts have some questions about his ability to play at the next level. But that doesn’t appear to be a major concern of his.

“They didn’t really look at me coming out of high school. They’re not really looking at me now. I’ve been doubted my whole life,” Mata’afa wrote. “I’m going to go out there and show them that I can play. I don’t care where I get drafted, I’m just going in there to prove I can make the team and show what I can bring to that team.”

One concern about Mata’afa is over the position he will play professionally. He played on the interior of the defensive line for the Cougs, but because he’s undersized, NFL teams seem him playing on the edge, While Hercules is experienced rushing the quarterback, the pro game will require an adjustment.

Since the NFL Scouting Combine, Mata’afa has returned to Maui to train. Instead of working on getting bigger or stronger, the former Coug has focused his time on boxing to refine with his technique.

Check out the rest of the article here and tune into the NFL Draft April 26-28 to see where Hercules will be playing next season.



My Life As An NFL Draft Prospect: Hercules Mata’afa « CBS New York
Today, we check in with Washington State defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa. Originally from the island of Maui, Hercules wasn’t highly recruited out of high school, but he dominated in his three years for the Cougars racking up 121 tackles, 45.5 for loss, and 21 sacks.

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