Get to Know: Shaun Nua

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

What does your job entail?

I’m a defensive intern and Coach Mendenhall put me with the defensive line. I work on everything the defensive coaches need to get done, that can be accomplished be someone like me—anything to help them. I get here early in the morning and help the other graduate assistants put together the schedule for practice. I help print it and pass it out to all the players and coaches. Whatever plays we pick for that day, we make copies and pass it out. Sometimes we’ll be passing the packets out and the coaches will come back with a change. If that happens we collect the packets back, put them in the recycle bin and start over. I like the fact we sit in meetings and I get to see how the full-time coaches do their jobs. I learn a lot from them.

What is a typical day like for you?

I get here around 5:30 a.m., work out for about an hour and then come up to get breakfast. Then we start getting everything ready for the day. We go to the defensive meeting and get the installations ready. Then we have a full staff meeting and make sure our schedule matches the offensive schedule and the head coach’s schedule. We go to the team meeting, and break off into individual positions. I go with Steve Kaufusi and the defensive line. After that we all go to the first practice. Following practice we have lunch and meet as a defensive staff. We go over the morning practice and evaluate it. All the players come back, break up into positions and evaluate the morning practice.

After the second practice the defensive staff gets a quick bite to eat and gets together to review it. We have position meetings again to watch practice with the players, then they all go home. We stay here and go onto the computer to tag all the plays from the day. Usually we end up leaving around 7 or 8 p.m.

What have you been up to since graduating from BYU and getting drafted by Pittsburg in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft?

I was in Pittsburg for three seasons and then went to Buffalo last year. I was jumping back-and-forth from active roster to practice squad. After I left Buffalo I decided this was what I wanted to do and came back out here in February. Since then I’ve just been trying to get a job. From February all the way to the end of July I was trying to chase down Coach Mendenhall to give me this job.

What was it like going to Super Bowl XL?

It was my rookie year. It wasn’t even a dream come true because my dream was to just make it to Division I football. The Super Bowl was a fantasy and unreal. It took a lot of hard work and I enjoyed every moment of it. I learned a lot and it was great.

What do you like most about working at BYU?

My dream was always to be a football player. I’ve always loved football. My body wouldn’t hold up while I was in the NFL so after I left I could have gone on to something else, like business or construction. But I’ve always loved being around football and now my new dream is to be a coach. I’m approaching it just like I did playing. It’s a lot of hard work and hopefully I’ll be able to help the younger kids achieve their dreams.

What was your favorite game to play in while you were a player at BYU?

I always liked playing Utah. Those are probably my favorite games. It’s always intense and a good rival game. We played some really good teams while I was here. We played USC, Boise State and Utah.

What was your fondest memory while here at BYU?

My fondest memory is starting the first game of my senior year--against Notre Dame (2004). The reason it's such a great memory for me is because of the tough battle it took to get there.

Tags: Feature