We are getting close to the end of our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the New York Giants will soon bring to training camp. Linebacker Uani 'Devin' Unga is one of the more unknown players the Giants will bring to camp. Let's learn more about him.
2014 Season in Review
Unga went undrafted after playing collegiately at Brigham Young University. He was medically excluded from the NFL Combine after suffering a torn right ACL, MCL and meniscus in his final college game, and spent most of the season rehabbing. Unga had 143 tackles as a senior for the Cougars in 2013. The Giants were apparently satisfied with the condition of his knee and added him to their practice squad in late December, then signed him to a reserve/futures contract.
2015 Season Outlook
Unga is already 27 years old and is just now entering his first NFL training camp. He missed last season with the knee injury, and also spent two years on a Mormon mission. His window of opportunity would appear to be limited, and how much -- if any -- athleticism the devastating knee injury took from him could be a factor is whether or not he has a realistic chance of sticking with the Giants.
Unga, 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, played primarily in a 3-4 at BYU. He went from walk on with the Cougars to team captain. Here is part of a scouting report from NFL.com:
An overaged, competitive, physical linebacker of Tongan descent, Unga went from walk-on to captain at BYU, where he was a tackling machine in his lone season as a starter. Skill set and college responsibilities translate well to the pro game, and hes capable of serving as a core special-teams player and solid backup for a 3-4 team.
Here is another scouting report, this one from an unfamiliar source.
The video of Unga below is nearly 25 minutes long. Skip through for some highlights or, watch the whole thing if you have the time.
It is impossible to know if Unga has a chance to stick with the Giants, or if he is just a nice training camp story. What is easy to see, though, is that Unga is a player worth rooting for.