Joe Gaiter: What does football mean to you?
Giovanni Kizer: Football means everything to me. It taught me discipline, how to be a man, and how to be a great human being. Most importantly it taught me what a real brotherhood is like.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your childhood?
Giovanni Kizer: Growing up I didn’t have much. We’ve been in and out of shelters & living with relatives. We knew our mother was going through a hard time trying to raise us with just food stamps and no job or a home. We made sure to make the best of every situation by keeping a smile on her face and keeping her stress free.
Joe Gaiter: When did you first start playing sports?
Giovanni Kizer: I first started playing sports when I was 8. I was basketball. I used to love basketball with everything in me because that was the sport I was best at. We had some friends tell us about football, so we asked our pops to put us in it. I didn’t like it at first, but once I got the hang of it then it was up from there. Each year I got better and I fell in love with it ever since.
Joe Gaiter: What are your fondest memories about Fitzgerald High School?
Giovanni Kizer: My fondest memories of FHS was with the great coaches I had. They really took care of me like their own child. They taught me how to be a leader and to lead others by example.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your recruitment experience.
Giovanni Kizer: My recruitment experience from high school was alright. I had a couple nice schools looking at me such as Michigan State University and Central Michigan. They showed lots of interest in me, but, my SAT scores blew that chance for me. I then was able to go the Juco route and redeem myself for another opportunity. I played two seasons at SAC and then was recruited by Morgan State University.
Joe Gaiter: How was your experience at Santa Ana College?
Giovanni Kizer: My experience at SAC was great. The coaches there really carved me into the player I am today. Before college, I knew nothing about formations, schemes, watching film, or anything. I never took any of that stuff serious in HS. But, SAC taught me how important those things were and it really opened my eyes to a new world in football. It made me a better player all around.
Joe Gaiter: What was your contribution to the team?
Giovanni Kizer: My contribution was very important. I was blessed to be one of the team captains because I would cheer on the next man to let them know that they are good enough to be out there no matter their size or skill set. My teammates saw me going 100% in every game and practice & that encouraged them to do so as well.
Joe Gaiter: How did it feel to play football with your brother this year SAC?
Giovanni Kizer: It felt great man. Me and my brother was such a great combo on the field. I swear we can’t be stopped. If he gets a sack, I would get one right after him. That’s how competitive we were. We both brought the best out of each other every time we were on the field together.
Joe Gaiter: You were 5-5 this year. What went wrong in your opinion?
Giovanni Kizer: We had a lack of communication during practice and outside of practice. It didn’t feel like a family. Guys were just there for themselves and didn’t care much for the next man. We had half of the team quit on us mid-season and that seemed so soft to me. These coaches spent all summer preparing us and half of the guys just threw it all away trying to live a street life that they aren’t really about.
Joe Gaiter: How have you faced adversity this year?
Giovanni Kizer: I’ve faced adversity during the begging of the season when I thought I wouldn’t be able to play. I owed money to the school for being an out of state student and I had to pay a huge amount of money for my previous semesters to play ball. I’m very thankful for my family. They came through and put their money together to get me back on track.
Joe Gaiter: Why did you choose Morgan State University?
Giovanni Kizer: I chose Morgan State University because they were the first big name school to reach out to me and show me they were interested in my game. Also, I’ve always dreamed of playing at an HBCU to learn more about my African American history.
Joe Gaiter: Morgan State was 3-9 last season. What can you add to their football program?
Giovanni Kizer: All I can do is come in with my head on straight and be ready to work. The coaches there have high hopes for me and I will do any and everything to make them proud. I will come in as a leader and I will form bonds with all of my teammates that nobody can break. Once we all form a great bond and play as a family. When we step onto that field we will be untouchable.
Joe Gaiter: What is your message to your new coaches, teammates and Morgan State fans/alumni?
Giovanni Kizer: I promise I will not let you guys down. I will give 110% of everything I have to become a better player and person. I will give this game my all and do everything I can to make a turn for this program.
Joe Gaiter: Are you exited to play at a HBCU?
Giovanni Kizer: Yes, I am very excited! This has been a lifelong dream and I am ready to fulfill it!
Joe Gaiter: Where are you working out during the off-season?
Giovanni Kizer: I am currently working out in my backyard & with my personal trainer Coach Mark.
Joe Gaiter: What is your untold story?
Giovanni Kizer: My untold story is that I always used to have self-doubt. I never believed in the dreams I had of being successful. One day, the Lord spoke to me and told me that I can conquer anything that I grind for and I have been living by that ever since.
Joe Gaiter: Who are some athletes we should keep on our radar?
Giovanni Kizer: My big brother Michael Kizer and my little cousin Peny Boone at Maryland.
Joe Gaiter: Describe your athleticism as a Defensive End/Defensive Lineman?
Giovanni Kizer: My athleticism is very unique. I have a combination of size, speed & flexibility. That’s very rare to get that out of one player.
Joe Gaiter: What has been your motivation?
Giovanni Kizer: My motivation came from seeing my momma struggle. Watching her cry about not being able to put food on the table for us some nights made me want to be successful. I want her to know that she raised great children through all the circumstances she was in. She really is a true warrior.