Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard Vince Manuwai has died at the age of 38.
Manuwai, who played collegiately at Hawaii and was drafted Manuwai in 2003, reportedly collapsed as he moved into an apartment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He was later pronounced dead at Straub Medical Center.
“We are saddened by the news of Vince Manuwai’s passing. Vince was a quiet, strong, reliable and respected member of the Jaguars family for eight seasons,” the Jaguars said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Throughout his career he was a key part of our offensive line, and the way he went about doing his job was a great example for his teammates and others. We offer our condolences, our thoughts and our thanks for the Manuwai family in remembrance of Vince.”
Following news of his death, Manuwai’s former teammates and coaches released statements mourning their fallen teammate.
“He was one of the best — if not the best — offensive linemen to play at UH,” former University of Hawaii assistant coach Rich Miano told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “It’s a sad day for everyone affiliated with Hawaii football who knew Vince Manuwai.”
“One of my favorite teammates I’ve ever had the pleasure of going to battle with. Big Vince never complained and he was always down for the s—s,” former Jaguars player Fred Taylor wrote on Instagram. “He’d always say ‘whatever you wanna do bruddah, I got you’ and he always rushed to snatch guys off the pile and pick me up. I love you bruddah, RIP big fella.”
“Vince was one of those rare individuals where his strength on the field probably was even greater than in the weight room,” former Hawaii offensive line coach Dennis McKnight said, according to NBC Sports. “He was just a powerful man. They talk about lock-down corners in the NFL. Vince was a lock-down o-lineman. When he put his hands on you, it was over. It was done.”
Manuwai had initially committed to play for the University of Utah. Following June Jones hiring as the University of Hawaii’s head coach in December 1998, Manuwai changed his mind and became Jones’ first recruit.0comments
In 2003, Jacksonville drafted Manuwai during the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He went on to play eight seasons with the Jaguars, appearing in 111 games, 105 of which he started. In 2012, he was on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad.
Manuwai is survived by his six children.