Mansfield Wrotto: (laughs) My nickname in college was "The Duke."
ET: Where did that come from?
MW: It came from our defensive coordinator. Like you said, I was so well-spoken in public and I also came from Brookwood High School, which is considered not really an upscale school, but a little higher-end. That's been my nickname in college the last two years. Also, some O-Line coaches for the NFL refused to call me Mansfield--it was too formal. So they started calling me Manny, so now I have picked up Manny, too.
ET: Let's turn the clock back to the Combine a little bit. How was that experience overall for you and did you have any formal interviews with the head coaches?
MW: Yes sir, I did some formal interviews with the Cowboys, the Browns, the Bears and the Jets. It was very interesting experience. My friends who played at Tech as well--who experienced the Combine the year prior--told me there were going to be a lot of interviews, mostly medical for the first two days, poke and prod you every which way. With limited sleep, you are in the bed by--for me it was twelve thirty—and then up at five o'clock in the morning. The drills, basically all field drills are only on Saturday for roughly three hours.
|(Georgia Tech Athletics)|
MW: The Pro Day was basically on-field drills for me. The biggest thing I heard they wanted to see from me was my transition from the Combine to the Pro Day and how much I have improved in those past two and a half weeks. So there were some O-Line coaches from the Chiefs, Browns and Panthers there. All three individually worked me out just to test me, my flexibility, my overall abilities and various techniques. They gave me some techniques to see how quickly I could pick them up and how quickly I could run it and some things from their schemes. And they were all impressed by what I did.
ET: Did it take you by surprise at all that some teams have been trying you out at center?
MW: Not really. My coach, my old line coach in college, Joe D'Alessandris, said that with my natural quickness and the ability to learn quickly, I could be a center as well. It's just getting the snap lined up right, having quicker feet. But overall, it's basically like a guard position. All you have to do is snap a ball and make some calls, so I feel very comfortable. I've been working in practice a couple of days and snapping the ball for an hour, hour and thirty minutes every day and I feel very comfortable, especially when the O-Line coach of the 49ers gave me work mostly at center. I feel very comfortable at the position.
ET: Was that at an individual work out with the 49ers?
MW: Yes sir.
ET: Have you had any other private workouts where they've come to see you work out?
MW: Yes sir, the Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons.
ET: Interviewing you for the first time, I'm guessing you would have impressed people greatly because you are very well spoken and you express your knowledge of the game really well. Is that just something that comes naturally for you? Or were you coached along the way to help you to do that?
MW: I am fortunate that my family has raised me right. I am also fortunate enough to surround myself with great friends and also the great coaches who have taught me along the way. So it hasn't been an issue or a problem for me. You know, one thing my father always says is, "the character of a man, or one of the biggest characters of a man is how he carries himself." I just watch and see how my father leads himself and follow his footsteps.
ET: That's wonderful. What does your dad do?
MW: He is a real estate agent.
ET: Has he done that most of your life while you were growing up?
MW: Yes sir.
ET: Have you had any thoughts of heading that direction when your football days are over?
MW: I have thought about it. Possibly real estate investing just to pass the time away. My biggest interest is in finance. My goal is to manage a mutual fund somewhere or be a financial advisor after my career is over.You can learn more about Mansfield by visiting his player profile page. If you missed the first half of this interview, click here to read it.
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.|