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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Muasau brothers make strong impact at Georgia State


For the AJC

6:39 p.m. Saturday, April 3, 2010

Georgia State linebackers Jake and Louie Muasau have this ongoing game they sometimes play where they want people to think that they are twins.

Jake and Louie each have a long, flowing, black Troy Polamalu-type mane. They each wear similar tattoos. They also run to the ball with reckless abandon and have similar jersey numbers. Louie wears “38” and Jake wears “39.”

The game works so well that Jake and Louie said their position coaches sometimes can’t tell them apart.

The truth is Louie is 14 months older than Jake, and when it comes to their game, no one minds at Georgia State, because they can’t stop singing their praises during spring practices.

“The Muasau brothers are good, solid players, and I am glad they’re here,” Georgia State coach Bill Curry said.

Defensive coordinator John Thompson said the Muasau brothers have improved the Panthers’ defense with their intensity.

“Both guys are a pleasure to be around, and they are fun to coach,” Thompson said.

As much as they like being considered twins, Jake and Louie want to establish their own identities.

Jake said he’s trying to get his number changed from “39” to “35” so people can tell him apart from Louie.

Until then, people will have to tell the Muasau brothers apart by their positions.

Jake, a 6-foot-1, 243-pound junior, plays outside linebacker. Louie, a 6-foot, 235-pound junior, plays middle linebacker.

Jake, who was a receiver and linebacker in high school, plays outside linebacker with a natural flow when he moves around the field.

“Jake has a gift for getting to the football,” Curry said.

Louie has played linebacker most of his life and has a feel for skirting around offensive linemen and making big hits.

“If we’re dropping [into coverage] and there is a chance for a wide interception to be made, I would rather go for the hit,” Louie said. “Jake is more likely to go for the ball.”

The way the Muasau brothers play is a part of their Samoan heritage, which they take very seriously and give credit for making them the players they have become. They try to play with a warrior mentality in practices and games.

The brothers even have taught their Georgia State teammates and coaches the “haka” dance, which is something they used to do with their entire team after victories at Phoenix College last season.

“We just try to bring a vibe to the team,” Jake said.

So far they have succeeded.

It’s not uncommon to see their long hair bouncing up and down in a blur as they charge around the field in defensive drills and tackling work.

Playing together was an opportunity that Jake and Louie once wondered if they could continue after Phoenix College.

Georgia State was one of the top schools after Louie, and he knew he wanted to play for them.

Jake, who was offered by Nebraska while in high school, said he was looked at heavily by Colorado and Arizona, but those schools turned away after he suffered a calf strain that forced him to miss three games as a sophomore.

When Georgia State showed interest in Jake, there was no way he was going to turn down the chance to play for the Panthers.

“I wake up every day thanking God for the chance to play with my brother,” Jake said.

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