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Giants rookie Darius Muasau is a different man on the football field: ‘Don’t know how to explain it’

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Darius Muasau doesn’t have a cool superhero nickname like his new Giants teammate Brian Burns, but he does have two different identities. 

“Off the field does not translate to on the field,” Muasau said after completing rookie minicamp. “Off the field, I would consider myself more of an introvert. Once I get onto the field, it’s crazy. I don’t know how to explain it. 

“It’s somebody else on this field. All of a sudden pre-game speeches become my thing. I am very vocal, talking to everyone and making sure we’re all on the same page. That’s just, I would say, my alter ego on the field.” 

Darius Muasau believes he becomes a different person on the field. Noah K. Murray-NY Post

Burns, who arrived in March via trade and signed a five-year, $141 million contract, is known as “Spider-Man.”

Muasau, a sixth-round draft pick, is just known as a sure tackler after four straight college seasons with a team-leading total. 

He finished his career at Hawaii and UCLA with 436 tackles, including 40 for loss, in 61 games. 

“Smart, instinctive guy,” head coach Brian Daboll said. “I’m glad we got him.” 

One of the highlights from the East-West Shrine Bowl published on NFL.com was labeled, “Darius Muasau lays the BOOM on thunderous TFL in backfield.” 

“It’s easy, my part,” Muasau said. “Just get to a ball-carrier, wrap up, bring the guy down. That’s what I love — the physicality of this sport. That’s what I feel like I bring most to the table. I just love running and hitting. That’s what I pride myself on doing.” 

Darius Muasau at Giants rookie minicamp on May 10, 2024. Noah K. Murray-NY Post

Muasau deferred credit for his three 90-plus tackle seasons to coaches who put him in the right positions and to the other 10 defenders doing their jobs.

But one of Muasau’s secrets is that he doesn’t look to drop a shoulder, shove a runner out of bounds or any other fundamentals-corner-cutting method that could result in a broken tackle and extra yardage. 

“I’m not perfect,” Muasau said. “I’m striving to fix all my mistakes as far as the tackling game because that’s what linebackers do: We tackle everything we see.” 

The Giants felt comfortable using their final draft pick on Muasau instead of an offensive or defensive lineman because he had an advocate in the war room.

Special teams coordinator Michael Ghobrial held the same job at Hawaii when Muasau earned his way onto the field as a freshman in the same way that he might as a rookie. 

“That’s how I made my money out there,” said Muasau, who played on kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return under Ghobrial. “I just love running down, playing the ball, making plays for the team. Any way to contribute. Now it’s a small world seeing Coach Ghobi here — just a full-circle moment.” 

Darius Muasau at the NFL combine on Feb 29, 2024. Getty Images

Ghobrial, who was the Jets assistant special teams coordinator for the past three seasons, and Muasau lost touch for a few years but reconnected at the Shrine Bowl. 

“It’s always high energy with him everywhere he is,” Muasau said. “It’s giving me flashbacks of when I was sitting in his room five years ago. I’m just loving the feeling. Nothing beats this.” 

Rookie minicamp didn’t just give Muasau a jumpstart on learning the playbook so he can ultimately challenge returning starter Micah McFadden to be the second inside linebacker next to iron-man Bobby Okereke. It also allowed him to adjust to the Northeast: He wore a knit cap in 60-degree weather. 

“I brought all my cold gear from Hawaii — all two jackets that I have,” Muasau said. “I’m also looking forward to a white Christmas.” 

For the next seven months, however, Muasau will treat the knowledge that Okereke passes down as a gift that keeps on giving. 

“What I’m looking forward to most is learning from the best,” he said. “I’m a student of the game. I want to be the best version of myself every day — and soon try to be the best at my position.”

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