Q and A with Jordan Mailata
Q and A with Jordan Mailata

Where were you born and raised? Where are you living now?

I was born in Bankstown hospital on the 31st March 1997. I stayed in the region but now that I’m moving to Philadelphia I will have to find a place there, either by myself or with my team mates.

What is your favourite thing about living in The States? Are you liking Philadelphia?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite thing just yet but I do love the city. Philly is beautiful, the people there are awesome and they’re really nice and supportive.

Plus, you’ve got good food there! Quality? Not so much, but in terms of quantity, yes! You definitely get your money’s worth. The Philly steaks are awesome; they live up to the hype. If you’re ever passing through, head down to Geno’s for a cheese steak.

What are you most looking forward to about the season to come?

I’m excited to experience everything and see what my final product is going to be; what I need to work towards. I can either be picked for the 53-man squad and have the opportunity to play or on the 10-squad reserve which means I can be eligible to play next year.

What was the process of getting drafted? How did it feel when you found out you’d been chosen?

In America, the ideal system is to go through college and then get drafted, but because I was in this program in Florida for three months, because of my age and how young I was I became eligible. I don’t know how that happened, but people in my program were trying to find ways and they found a way. Next thing you know I was drafted.

I’m so honoured and blessed to be drafted, but waiting to find out and waiting for names to be read out was the most nerve wracking process I’ve been through. On the day, you’re just sitting in a room and I felt like I was in jail. You just sit there watching TV and I was waiting for four hours while names were being read off. You just sit there hoping like, ok next one, next one, next one.

I knew that Philly was interested but I didn’t hear anything from them that whole day. Before then, they would talk to me to see how I was. But on draft day I’d heard nothing.

Other teams were calling me saying you know, just hang in there. I got two prank calls and it broke my heart. A mate turned to me and said stay by your phone, Philly’s about to call and I was like, yeah whatever. Then Philly popped up and my heart stopped.

After that I spoke to a scout that saw me on my pro day and then he handed me on to someone else and that was it. They said we want to draft you - how do you feel? And I just cried. It was a lot of emotions that whole day. I went in there with no expectations but after being shown around the building and being there it felt real. My agent was there and one of my boys who I’d met on the program. I had my bro there, so it was nice. As soon as I found out I rang my family, the people that mattered.

Q and A with Jordan Mailata

How have you found the transition from League to NFL?

It’s been tough. There are things you can take like foot work, strength, power… the ability to be hit and then keep going… That’s one thing I’m used to: being hit! It has been hard, learning the play book especially. So, mentally it’s been challenging to try to remember your assignment and role because there are so many things to know. One play can turn into 5 plays.

You’ve got to know your stuff and that’s what’s been the most challenging. We’ve got to keep going back to our play book.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Where do I see myself in 10 years? That’s a good question!

I’d definitely still like to be in sport, but then again, life is very funny, last year I wasn’t playing NFL, I wasn’t in America… I was living in Bankstown and then I moved to Coogee.

What do you eat in a day/week?

Honestly, I’m a very basic man. I love chicken and rice, so anything with chicken - I’ll eat it. Roasted chicken, fried chicken, grilled chicken, boneless chicken, teriyaki chicken; anything with chicken.

Ideally you want to be eating healthy but the diet I was on for rugby wouldn’t be the same as the diet I was on for NFL. The requirements go up and down. If you can move your feet, it doesn’t matter how big you are. In my position you need to move your feet and protect the quarter back. You’re the money maker.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

Well, I love to sing, I play guitar. I was a musician before I was an athlete; I guess that came from growing up in a church. We sang a lot of songs and being of a Polynesian background we sang a lot. The whole family plays an instrument.

How did you find out about the Johnny Bigg brand? Did you often find it difficult to find clothes that not only fit your frame but are also stylish?

I’d always walk past the store and think to myself, ‘they’re not going to have big clothes’. But then my brother told me ‘Actually they do, they specialise in big clothes. The clothes start at an XL.’ I was like ‘really?!’

So, when I was home for four days in March, I knew that I had some important meetings coming up. So my brother said ‘let’s get some clothes for you for your meetings for the NFL teams.’

I ended up going in and was like ‘oh my god this shop is amazing!‘ I bought this jacket, two pairs of shoes, another sweater and a jumper. I ended up wearing the Chelsea boots and the bomber jacket the day I got drafted.

Why are you a fan of Johnny Bigg clothing?

It was so hard before to find clothes. When I moved to America I thought it would get easier but it was a letdown, I was really surprised. I couldn’t find shoes, any good clothes. Johnny Bigg has really stylish threads and the fashion is amazing. America is backwards with fashion! I’m really glad I’m on board, I’m a massive fan, now.

Q and A with Jordan Mailata

When I moved to America I thought it would get easier but it was a letdown, I was really surprised. I couldn’t find shoes, any good clothes. Johnny Bigg has really stylish threads and the fashion is amazing. America is backwards with fashion! I’m really glad I’m on board, I’m a massive fan, now.

What's your favourite item of Johnny Bigg clothing and why?

The pants I’m wearing now… they’re the ‘Marley,’ pants and also my ‘Chelsea,’ boots but there’s too many! I also love the bomber jackets.

How would you describe your personal style?

Kind of cool, very casual. Smart casual, all the way.