Name: Sam Tevi
NFL games played: 0
Games played for the Chargers: 0
Fun fact: Tevi's full name is Samiuela Milaioti Tevi.
Three years ago, the idea of Sam Tevi playing on the OL in the NFL was absurd. After all, apart from punter, offensive line was the only position Tevi had never played at before, at any level. He started at safety in youth football and moved around all over the field in his early years, even playing QB in Junior High (although, according to Tevi, he was very much strictly a pocket passer.) He made the conversion to DE in High School, and was a real force there, being named a First Team All-District in 2011 and 2012 and helping his school to make the Area Championship.
Tevi had interest from a whole host of schools, having been given scholarship offers from Washington, Texas Tech, BYU, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Houston, among others. Out of those two, Utah and BYU stood out to him, having been two of his favorite schools growing up. After visiting Utah and feeling right at home, Tevi committed there to play DL for the Utes.
He saw playing time as a true freshman, playing a role on defense in six games and finishing the year with nine tackles (two for loss) and one sack. Utah was deep at defensive line, however - one of the people Tevi was backing up happened to be current Chargers DL (and in my opinion a very underrated part of the defense) Tenny Palepoi - but the team had a much greater need along the OL.
Tevi was asked to move to the OL - according to the Salt Lake Tribune, Tevi "told him, straight up, I wouldn't like it at all. But anything to help the team." He probably didn't enjoy it much in his Sophomore year in 2014, playing just 42 offensive snaps in three games. Things came together for Tevi in 2015, however, as he won the starting LT job and started all 13 games that season. He went from 42 snaps to over 600, and while stats not being kept for OL makes it hard to know in retrospect how well he played, he wouldn't be here today if he'd done poorly.
Tevi switched over to RT for his Senior Year, starting in the 11 games that he was healthy for, and did enough to make himself the Chargers sixth round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft - making him the fourth member of that Utah OL to get drafted, behind LT Garett Bolles in the first round to Denver, OG Isaac Asiata to the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round, and C J.J. Dielman to the Cincinnati Bengals later in the fifth round. That's a pretty incredible feat.
It's not like Tevi is a stranger to a crowd of brothers - after all, he's one of eight children, with two brothers and five sisters. I think being surrounded by that many people every day would drive somebody insane, which is probably why Tevi took part in so many sports in High School to get him out of the house as often as possible. Tevi was a four-sport star, with four letters in football, three in track, and two in basketball, as well as playing volleyball. It wouldn't surprise me if Tevi secretly hated volleyball, but preferred it to the alternative of being in a household where the word 'quiet' may as well have been in a foreign language.
Tevi's family are Polynesian, which goes some way to explaining why his favorite food to eat is horse - according to Tevi, it's a cultural delicacy in Polynesian culture. Considering Britain had a scandal a few years ago where some supermarket burgers were found to actually be 29% horse, I'd like to invite Tevi to come over to England. If nothing else, he'd like the food.
Tevi is a Latter Day Saint, which is pretty interesting. Before anyone jumps in the comments to start a religious war (we've already had that once in this series, thank you very much), Eric Weddle was also a Latter Day Saint, having converted while playing college football at Utah. I didn't hear anybody complaining about Weddle's faith. I bring up Tevi's faith because it's pretty unique, and should be something that you look at and go 'huh, that's neat' rather than 'OH MY GOD THAT'S NOT ALLOWED ON MY TEAM I FEEL VIOLATED'.
That's not the only interesting fact about Tevi, either. I don't know if you remember, but in Kenneth Farrow's 90-in-90 I mentioned that he played the ukulele and that there's no way anybody else on the Chargers shares that skill. Unbelievably, the Chargers have (at least) two ukulele players on the roster, because Sam Tevi can also play it - although by his own admission, 'I’m not really great at playing it.' I don't know if both Tevi and Farrow will still be on the team come September, but I'd absolutely love for the two to start playing the ukulele together. How cool would that be?