EAGAN, Minn. – Anree Saint-Amour remembers playing with his brother in the backyard as a young boy, learning and practicing hand movements to improve on the football field.
Years later, Anree's big brother is helping him again – this time, with the hopes of performing on a much larger stage.
Manrey Saint-Amour is the older of the two by three years and was the starting center at Georgia Southern, earning First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. He currently serves as the offensive line coach at Savannah State University in Georgia.
"He's definitely been a big supporter. Growing up, that's who I looked up to. I still look up to him," said Anree, who signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech this spring. "He's just helping me stay focused. If I'm being lazy at home, he's right there on my back telling me, 'You've gotta go work.'
"He's been giving me tips about how offensive linemen think," added Anree, who said he still gets hand-movement tips from Manrey when he's back home.
From video games to working out and playing football, the brothers were so inseparable growing up that they didn't see much need to hang out with anyone else.
"Me and him were enough," Anree said with a smile. "We're real close-knit."
An emphasis on family was important to Anree's parents, Manfred and Renise Saint-Amour, who are from Haiti. Their first two children, Manrey and a daughter, were born in Haiti before the family moved to America.
Anree is the only member of his immediate family to be born in the United States, but he cherishes his Haitian heritage.
"That's very important to me. It's how I grew up; that's how I was raised," Anree said. "That culture is part of me, and I definitely remember that; I want to represent for Haiti."
Although Anree has never physically been to Haiti, its culture makes up part of who he is.
His Christian faith also is a large part of his identity.
Anree has garnered a reputation over the years for being calm, cool and collected. Never letting his emotions run too high or too low, he's occasionally jabbed for how even-keel his personality is.
But all jokes aside, he points to his beliefs for helping him stay grounded, even during what could be a very stressful time.
"Thank God I've been able to stay calm," Anree said of his transition to the NFL and working to make the team. "It's definitely an anxious process [and can be hard] to keep your wits about you, but faith is a big thing for me that helps me with that.
"It gives me a kind of calm and a peace – it's somebody that I can trust in even when things are not going well," Anree continued. "If you're just trusting in yourself, you're going to … start worrying about every little thing, but when I go out on the field, I just know that I need to play for God's glory and give it all up for Him instead of myself."
Here are three other topics Anree covered with Vikings.com:
1. What are some elements of Haitian culture that have been a part of your life?
"Food is a big thing – Haitian food all the way. So that's going to take some getting used to, coming up here. Food, faith, that's a big thing in Haiti, going to church [on] Sundays. And just the language, speaking to my parents and things like that, it's all been ingrained in me, all part of the culture."
2. Do you have a favorite Haitian dish?
"Yes, griot. It's a fried pork."
3. What is your main goal as you get into training camp?
"I just want to improve as much as I can, show the coaches I can make this 53-man roster and just contribute to the team."