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Saturday, April 24, 2010

TE Michael Hoomanawanui Speaks

Posted >Sat, April 24, 2010 01:23
by Nick Wagoner
TE Michael Hoomanawanui spoke to the St. Louis media about coming just down I-70 and 57 to play for the Rams.
(On the pronunciation of his name)
“It’s huh-oh-muh-NOW-uh-noo-ee.”

(On playing his home games at the Edward Jones Dome after playing there a couple times in college)
“Everything happens for a reason and it’s funny that I’ll be playing professional ball down there. I’m excited.  It’s a great venue. I have a lot of family down that way and I’m just excited to get down there, get in the playbook, and get going.”

(On his style of play)
“I like to think it’s a good mixture.  I’m a bigger guy which kind of sets myself aside from other guys that are in the draft.  I’m more physical and going to hold the line but can also get in the 12 yard range, and I’ve got good enough hands, I can catch it and be able to get the first (down) and help out the team.”

(On dealing with injuries last year)
“It was a bump in the road.  It pulled me down a lot, but I was glad I was able to come back and (play) the last two games, go to the Senior Bowl and show everyone that I’m healed from that and that I can keep moving on.”

(On his experience in the kicking game)
“Oh yeah, all four years I played on pretty much all the special teams.  Whatever I can do, whether it’s special teams or coming in to play right now, I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

(On his family in the St. Louis area)
“My dad is from Hawaii so not his family.  He’s the only one who lives on the mainland.  My mother is from south of Chicago. She’s got a lot of family down there in Southern Illinois, the Alton area, so I know they’re all excited.

(On having to buy tickets for family)
“I don’t know how many I’ll be able to get, but if not they’re right there, they can find it on the tube.”

(On if he was born in Hawaii)
“No, I was born right here in Bloomington, Illinois whereI’m at today.  My father was born and raised in Hawaii and played football at a junior college and then at Illinois State where he met my mom and they started a family here.”

(On where his mom is from)
“Aurora, Illinois.”

(On his mom’s first name and maiden name)
“Anne Palumbo.”

(On being part of a rebuilding process at Illinois now helping the Rams bounce back)
“It was just like it was in Illinois. The reason I went there was a chance to play early and help get the team back on a national stage and that’s what we were able to do. We have the best years that wanted, but we were able to get the attention that we wanted and get the respect that we wanted. It’s the same situation. It’s just like you said, being close to home and being able to get the fans down there and build this up and get the Rams where they should be and where we need to be. It’s just exciting and I’m glad have the opportunity.  I’m just anxious to get down there and learn the playbook and the system and get going.”

(On if he had an idea where he might get drafted)
“No, I this thing’s just a crap shoot.  You really don’t know. I had a workout with Coach (Frank) Leonard down there and it went great. I had a couple other workouts and my agent was talking to a couple other teams, and you really just don’t know. I’m sitting here and my stomach is churning, watching the television. When St. Louis was the next one on the board, I just had a great feeling and it came true.”

(On where the workout was with the Rams)
“Coach Leonard came to school down to Champagne, Illinois.”

(On who was involved in the workout)
“It was just one-on-one, me and coach.  It went great. We did the drills, did all the physical stuff but then we went on the board and drew up some things. Like I said it went great.

(On what he has been doing all weekend)
“Besides being nervous, anxious and excited, just hanging out with the family and watching the draft, playing cards with my cousin and my teammates. For the most part trying to keep my mind off of everything and just relax and enjoy it, but its kind of tough.

(On catching passes from Sam Bradford)
“Yeah, that not a bad person to come in with, so I’m exciting (about) Sam and all these other guys. You guys have got Laurent Robinson down there from Illinois State. I’m excited to get down there with him.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen him.  He’s been kind of a mentor for me up here while I was in high school. I’m excited to get down there with Coach Leonard and Laurent and these guys I know and build relationship with everyone else as well.”

(On if Robinson went to the same high school as him)
“No, Laurent is from Florida so he’s nowhere from here.  I don’t even know where the heck we met, but we built a relationship kind of.  He helped me out through this process and talked to me and kept me going.  It’ll be nice to get down there.”

(On Robinson mentoring Hoomanawanui when Hoomanawanui was in high school)
“Yeah, I had a good friend that made a highlight film for him and actually kind of worked with his agent at the time.  Just through that we built a relationship and he’s been around it.  He texted me the other day and he said he had a gut feeling that I was going to be a Ram.  I had that sitting in the back of my mind so it will be nice to know someone down there already.”

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