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Big George is a right tackle Evan Engram Color Rush Jersey , and that simple fact gives him a chance with 2019 Giants"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections New York Giants NewsGiants Training Camp 2016Giants vs. Eagles 2015, Week 17New York Giants NewsGeorge Asafo-Adjei a “great human being” — Can he be great for the Giants?New,54commentsBig George is a right tackle, and that simple fact gives him a chance with 2019 GiantsEDTShareTweetShareShareGeorge Asafo-Adjei a “great human being” — Can he be great for the Giants?George Asafo-AdjeiPeople who get to know George Asafo-Adjei, the Kentucky offensive lineman known as “Big George” whom the New York Giants recently selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft, are affected by him.A member of the Kentucky athletic department’s public relations staff told me the 6-foot-4, 306-pound Asafo-Adjei is a “big teddy bear.” Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman went further.“He’s a great human being. I mean a great human being. Not a good one,” Schlarman said recently by phone.“He’s the type of guy if I wanted to take my wife on a trip I’d leave my four kids at home with him and I wouldn’t have to worry about them for a week.”Perhaps nothing illustrates the effect Asafo-Adjei has an people who get close to him better than his relationship with Kentucky President Dr. Eli Capilouto.Capilouto is the 69-year-old leader of a major university. He’s white, let’s just get that out of the way. Asafo-Adjei is a 300+ pound football player born in the Bronx, with a hard-working mother who struggled to make ends meet for her family. They have little to nothing in common, other than the reality that they crossed paths at Kentucky. Yet, the two struck up a friendship that Asafo-Adjei treasures. During Asafo-Adjei’s time at Kentucky, the two could often be seen walking around the university campus or having lunch together.“Very different, very opposite looking human beings. That just shows you it don’t matter what you look like, it don’t matter who you are, what status you are. Respect is respect,” Asafo-Adjei said. “He had respect for me and I definitely had respect for him.“It was very special to me. I’m very grateful for him being open to me. It was a great experience. Me and him are still gonna be cool. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”Asafo-Adjei said his relationship with Dr. Capilouto began freshman year.“He just took me in. I could just see that he cared about me and he always wanted to make sure I was OK. He always kept up with me. It helped a lot, just to be comfortable,” he said.“I honestly think he just stopped by. He probably was hearing a lot of stuff about me in the media and whatever. He just stopped by and saw me. That’s really where it started and we just had a great relationship after that. We just built that bond and it kept growing.”Photo courtesy Kentucky Athletic DepartmentPersonal journeyAsafo-Adjei hasn’t been reticent about discussing his background. Born in the Bronx to a hard-working mom who didn’t have much and, since they moved to Cincinnati when Asafo-Adjei was 7 or 8, has often worked three jobs.“My mom works hard Patrick Omameh Color Rush Jersey , she has worked hard since I was born. She has been working three jobs, literally three jobs every day,” Asafo-Adjei said after he was selected. “She probably gets 4 hours of sleep every day, we went through some rough patches in life, but we overcame thanks to God. He’s taken me out of that situation, and he has taken our family out of that situation. I’m happy for our blessings. I don’t have a father in my life, that’s been much harder as well. I thank God, God is good and he answers prayers.”Perhaps that is why people like Dr. Capilouto have been drawn to him. Why he speaks so freely about wanting to make life better for other people.“He’s a guy that could have very easily gone down the wrong path. But that’s not him. I don’t think George would have ever done that because that’s not in his heart,” Schlarman said. “He’s a great person. But, he had every reason to go down that path and he didn’t.”Asafo-Adjei wants to make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate.“I want to give back to any poor countries and any poor communities around here. It’s eye opening to see those people don’t have anything, but they are the happiest people in the world. Anyone can take something from that, just seeing them struggle I want to give back to them so bad.”Asafo-Adjei was selected as one of a handful of Kentucky athletes to make a trip to Ethiopia last year. “Those people don’t have nothing, yet they’re way happier than us,” he said. “It puts perspective on things, that maybe we care a little too much about materialistic and what people think about us and those kinds of things. It definitely gives you a great perspective on life.”Big George has a big chance“I’m going in there to take a job,” Asafo-Adjei told media the night the Giants drafted him. “I’m going in there to make a name for myself.”It is far too soon to know if Asafo-Adjei can do that. What we do know is that there is an opening at the position Big George will play — right tackle.“He’s a big, powerful man. He’s got really good length. You can tell he’s a very physical style player,” said coach Pat Shurmur. “I think that’s important at the position.”Shurmur said the Giants are “for sure” going to give Asafo-Adjei a chance to show he can play right tackle in the NFL rather than move him inside to guard.Often, linemen drafted as late as Asafo-Adjei was (232nd overall) are considered developmental players. Guys who could use time on a practice squad to develop their bodies, their techniques and their understanding of the game before being relied upon to play. The next few months will show if Asafo-Adjei is one of them.Schlarman believes that “Physically there’s no doubt that he’ll [Asafo-Adjei] be ready.”How quickly he learns the playbook, his assignments Landon Collins Color Rush Jersey , NFL techniques and adjusts to the speed of blocking NFL pass rushers will determine whether or not he makes the team and, ultimately, cracks the lineup.“He’s off the charts in terms of his physical attributes,” Schlarman said of Asafo-Adjei, who ran a 4.9 40-yard dash and did 31 bench press reps at the Kentucky Pro Day. “His strength, his explosion, all those types of characteristics.“I think if he would have gone to the combine and had those types of results he probably would have gone earlier in the draft.”At this point in his development, Schlarman said Asafo-Adjei is a better run blocker than pass blocker who “gets really good movement at the point of attack … when he gets on guys he can drive, he can move his feet.”If Asafo-Adjei doesn’t succeed in the NFL, Schlarman said it won’t be from lack of effort.“He’s going to put in the extra work. He’s a guy that brings his lunch pail every single day,” Schlarman said. “He’s blue collar. Comes every day, has a great attitude, works extremely hard.” Bethea predicts new Giants defensive backfield will confuse offenses even more."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections New York Giants NewsGiants Training Camp 2016Giants vs. Eagles 2015, Week 17New York Giants NewsGiants Free Agency 2019Antoine Bethea officially joins New York GiantsNew,19commentsBethea predicts new Giants defensive backfield will confuse offenses even more.EDTShareTweetShareShareAntoine Bethea officially joins New York GiantsAntoine BetheaMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsNew Giants safety Antoine Bethea is getting ready to enter his 14th NFL season, so he knows a thing or two about both sides of the ball.And so far, the Giants newest safety likes how the team’s defensive secondary is shaping up, particularly at safety, where Bethea is expected to be paired with Jabrill Peppers, the young safety acquired from the Cleveland Browns as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade Monday.“I think the first thing that I think of is both us being able to play both positions,” he said when asked how he and Peppers will complement each other in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s defensive backfield. “So obviously the offense can’t dictate who’s going to be the down safety Dalvin Tomlinson Color Rush Jersey , who’s going to be back, so I think that will play in our hands some where we can disguise the defense, disguise the coverage and make a quarterback think post snap rather than pre-snap.”Bethea, who described Peppers as a “good young safety,” suggested that Giants fans are going to like what they see from the youngster. “Being a fan of the game and playing the safety position, obviously you look across the league and see what other guys are doing,” he said.“Looking at his play, for the first two years, man he’s been doing some great things. Very versatile—can do a lot of things play in the box play back in the post so I’m excited to be able to play alongside of him.”It was Bethea’s familiarity with Bettcher, for whom Bethea was with during 2017 in Arizona that led him to sign with the Giants.Bethea was asked why, despite being this far along in his career, he would want to go to a team that is clearly in a rebuild mode rather than poised to win now. He quickly dismissed the idea the Giants were rebuilding and pointed out that no matter who is on the roster or how much experience they might have, there’s still a job to be done. “At the end of the day we gotta come to play on Sundays, so regardless of the names you have on paper, you still gotta go out there and perform,” he said. “So you get a new nucleus and some good guys who can work together.“Obviously, the league year just got started so I know upstairs is doing what they need to do to build a great team. So as players, our job is to come out there and put out our best performance, our best foot forward and put the best product we can out there on the field.”At the same time, Bethea is sensitive to the fact that the Giants fan base is still reeling from the loss of Collins, who signed with Washington this week. “I mean Phil McConkey Color Rush Jersey , they should be upset,” he said. “Landon is one of the best safeties in the league and a three-time Pro Bowler who played well for the Giants. Myself — and I know Jabrill will say the same thing — I’m pretty sure he’s confident in his play and I’m confident in my play as well. So we’re going to come in here and do what we know what to do and play at a high level.”Bethea who has mostly been a durable player, credits the eight seasons he spent as a member of the Colts for having learned what it takes to be a pro’s pro “I think it’s all about being consistent and taking care of your body,” he said. “I think as far as that longevity, coming into the league, I was fortunate enough to walk in the locker room and be around some greats—(receiver) Marvin Harrison, (quarterback) Peyton Manning, (tight end) Dallas Clark, (receiver) Reggie Wayne—those guys taught me how to be a pro, and I think that’s one of the things I hang my hat on: being a pro’s pro.”And speaking of Manning, Bethea, who has faced Peyton’s younger brother Eli five times in his career, was asked for his take on whether the younger Manning still has enough juice left in his 38-year-old arm to be a winner.“He’s a champion,” Bethea said. “Been the leader of this organization for a long time. Obviously, he can still make all the throws and having Saquon back there running the rock out, that’s going to help him out a lot. “So I’m happy to be a part of this organization and happy to be one of his teammates and I’m excited to see where he can lead us.”
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