Toe meets leather is getting a little closer every passing day and with 96 days left until Georgia Tech’s meeting with Clemson on August 29th, we spotlight former Yellow Jacket #96 Joe Anoa’i.
Perhaps you remember the name Jose Anoa’i. Perhaps you don’t. The Pensacola, Florida native played for the Yellow Jackets from 2003 to 2006. A defensive tackle, Anoa’i became a captain of the Jackets for his senior year while being a three-year starter for the Yellow Jackets. He earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2006 after recording 40 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks.
After his career at Tech, Anoa’i would go undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft but would get training camp opportunities with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars. He wouldn’t make it with either team but did end up playing with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2008. After that, however, his football career would come to an end.
That being said, Anoa’i would find his calling following his football career. That calling would be professional wrestling. Reigns is better known today as Roman Reigns, one of the most popular and well-known wrestlers in professional wrestling today.
Reigns has been part of the WWE since 2010, developing himself as a wrestler for two years before making his official debut in 2012. Since then, Reigns has won seven championships in the WWE including three different title reigns with the WWE Championship.
Other notable parts of Reigns WWE career includes main eventing Wrestlemania three-times (in a row) including matches against WWe legends Triple-H and The Undertaker. He defeated both legends in his respective matches against them.
However, Reigns biggest accomplishment and biggest victory was a recent one. Reigns last year announced that he had Leukemia and would have to step away from the company until his battle was over. Reigns would return to the ring on February 25th of this year.
Overall, Anoa’i (or Reigns) has had quite the career path. He went from being an All-ACC defensive tackle to one of the most popular wrestlers of the last decade in the WWE. The future is still bright for the 34-year old as well as he continues to be one of the faces of the WWE. Reigns is still connected to the Tech football program and can often be seen around campus when WWE comes to Atlanta.