Paul Makinano | Sacred Heart, ECU, PSU | Inside Linebacker
Q: Tell us about your college career and what the recruiting process was like. Why did you choose Sacred Heart University, East Carolina University, & Penn State?
A: My college career was a unique journey filled with many hardships and adjustments. I was Redshirted my freshmen year at Sacred Heart, unfortunately due to family difficulties I had to leave and help out my Mom which resulted in not playing and attending school for a year.
I then transferred to East Carolina & sat out a year due to transfer rules. Unfortunately, I was never given the opportunity to be part of the team in spring of 2018. I decided to finish my undergraduate studies there and play as a graduate transfer. I was then recruited by Penn State prior to camp this past Fall of 2019, but had to leave the program due to a scholarship mishap by my academic director.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: My biggest accomplishment so far would be persevering through all the challenges & shortcoming that I faced the past 4 years. It helped me become the person & athlete that I am today.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at Sacred Heart, East Carolina, & Penn State?
A: I did not really have much of a close relationship with any college coaches that I had or recruited me. One coach that helped me the most would be my trainer/mentor Frank Quido of Breakout Athlete. I’ve learned a lot from him on & off the field. Two important things I’ve learned from him is to stay focused & good is never good enough.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
A: Undergraduate studies in Exercise Physiology. If football doesn’t work out, I look to proceed into PA or medical school.
Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: Hard Worker, Focused, Intense, & a Leader.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: My interception for a touchdown spring game of freshmen year in college, which was the last time I was in pads.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: My biggest challenge is not getting the chance & opportunity to play in college. This is a big set back for me not having any film to show scouts & people on what I am capable of doing on the field. I manage it by using it as my motivation to keep going in this journey with an underdog mentality.
Q: If you could compare yourself to a pro athlete, who would that be and why?
A: Patrick Willis & Bobby Wagner. Both play with a high motor, impact players, & instinctive qualities.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: Two of my biggest strengths is having leadership & winning mindset. I believe that whichever team gives me the opportunity, I can make a significant impact for them on & off the field.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?
A: Much involved. My recent “give back” work was this past Christmas, donating over 800 books & toys for the children at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2020 National Scouting Combine and what are your goals?
A: I am training at Breakout Athlete in North Branford, Connecticut. My goal is to perform at a high level, put out great results, & show everyone what I am capable of doing.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: Off the field, helping out the poor & those who are struggling back home in the Philippines. On the field, win championship games (Super Bowl, Grey Cup, etc.)
Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A: Spend time with my family & dogs
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: My mother & grandma. Wouldn’t have made it to this point without them.
Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?
A: As mentioned earlier, I was born & raised from the Philippines. I also love to cook.