Bleacher Report conducted an exclusive interview with Greg Seibert, the high school football coach of Roman Reigns at Pensacola Catholic High School. In it, Seibert revealed more about Reigns the football player and how he is in real-life.
One interesting story Seibert told is that Reigns showed up after his sophomore summer at training camp with an L branded on his arm (Reigns's birth name is Leati). Seibert asked Roman how he got it and he revealed that he got it by heating a coat hanger and branding himself.
"Whoa, you're just a little bit different from everyone else," Seibert responded at the time. "I'm going to put you in a position to hurt people, because you're mad. You burned your own arm."
Seibert remembers Reigns, whose real name is Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoa'i, as someone who instilled fear in others. Seibert added that Reigns, "played with the mean streak you want a defensive player to have," and had "an electricity that made the people around him better."
Seibert recalled that Roman's father, Sika, half of The Wild Samoans, would watch over his son every day at practice.
"It wasn't until a bit later until I realized that that was The Wild Samoan," Seibert told Bleacher Report. "That's when it became real to me. That is not just fly-by-night, national armory wrestling family that's hanging out at my football practice. That's one of The Wild Samoans."
Seibert still calls Reigns Joe, recalling the first time he saw him on WWE television.
"Oh, my God," Seibert said. "There's Joe Anoa'i. There's the kid who used to lift weights in our weight room. The kid I tried to teach in class. He's the kid I couldn't get to behave."
Seibert describes Reigns as passionate and loyal. Something he reflected on when commenting about Roman Reigns on WWE television.
"I know that Joe is playing a character. He's fiercely loyal to the people that are loyal to him," Seibert says. "If you're hating Joe's character on TV, then Joe and the WWE are winning. If you're still turning on [the TV] to see what he's going to do, then he's done his job as it's being asked to do."
Reigns went from high school to play Division I football with Georgia Tech where he was an All-ACC first-team linebacker in 2006 and finished his career with 108 tackles and 12 sacks in four years.
Reigns tried his hand at professional football, going to camp with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, before playing one year in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. He retired from football and signed a developmental contract with WWE to follow in the footsteps of his feather.
Now of course, Reigns is a top WWE superstar and will face the winner of Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship this August at SummerSlam.
Bleacher Report has more quotes from Reigns's high school coach as well as his coach at Georgia Tech. You can read them by clicking here.
Fender James contributed to this article. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.