How Penei Sewell’s football journey took him from Malaeimi to Detroit
“My father gave us all, my siblings and me, a watch,” Sewell said. “In the case inside, a picture of our house had to say, ‘In this life we have shared this time and time with the family is the most important part.’
“Right there, I remember when he gave it to me I was a little emotional and I look at this picture and this watch every day and that reminds me where I’m from, that reminds me why I’m doing this and that reminds me of what it took to get here and that helps keep me motivated every day. “
It was fate that Sewell ended up in Oregon. He had scholarship offers from all major programs, including Alabama, but Oregon deputy head and defensive coach Joe Salave’a was a neighbor of the Sewell family when Penei was a child.
“Joe takes out his cell phone and shows me a video of his neighbour’s son. It took me about two or three clips to realize that this is exactly what we need to be here at Pac-12 and at the University of Establishing Oregon in a certain way, “said Cristobal.
The family moved from the South Pacific island to St. George, Utah, in 2011. Sewell attended Desert Hills High School in Utah, where he became one of the best preparation players in the country, playing both offensively and defensively.
Sewell was great as a freshman to Oregon and even better by his sophomore year. He won the Outland Trophy for the best lineman in college football. He joined LaMichael James (2010) and Marcus Mariota (2014) as the only Oregon players to be unanimously first-team All-Americans and was the highest-rated offensive lineman in Pro Football Focus, Linemen history that season to rate. He has turned down the 2020 season on COVID-19 concerns.
The Detroit Lions, who were the best offensive device in this year’s NFL Draft, voted Sewell # 7 overall and is expected to fight for the right point of attack, cementing Detroit’s offensive line.