Defensive Tackle/Nose Guard
Oregon State University Beavers
Los Altos, California
Snow Community College
Timpview High School
One of the most unheralded players in the collegiate ranks, Paea made tremendous strides in his game since joining the Beavers in 2008. It is hard to imagine that he has just little less five years of organized football experience. He was a standout rugby player who was born on the island of Vav'u, within the Tongan Island chain and did not come to the United States under age sixteen.
Paea did not even speak English until five years ago and the first time he ever competed in a football game came during his senior year at Timpview High School. He continued his "football education" at Snow Community College in Utah, where he actually red-shirted in 2006 in order to help him acclimate better to the college game.
Oregon State lost their entire front seven of the defensive unit to graduation before Paea arrived on campus. Blessed with impressive quickness and incredible strength, it only took the Beavers coaching staff one look at their new recruit to hand him a starting job. "A great recruit," OSU coach Mike Riley recalls. "He's one of the most important additions to our team, without playing a game."
Paea said he felt some pressure when coaches immediately installed him as the starting right tackle, but based on his performance the last two seasons, he has taken to major college football like a bird takes to flight. "They put me in with the first string right away, and most of the guys had been here already," said the soft-spoken Paea. "I felt kind of nervous about it." But he has more than earned his spot, becoming one of the most dominant "run stuffers" in the Pac-10 Conference.
The coaching staff still recite stories on Paea's first day in spring drills. That was the day they knew they had something special in the trenches. During that first scrimmage, strting left guard Adam Speer tangled with the bullish youngster in a one-on-one drill, Paea drove Speer back so hard, the 6:03, 301-pound lineman suffered a torn pectoral muscle. "If you're not ready for him," said Speer, who banged heads with Paea every day in practice, "he'll pick you up and move you back a little bit."
"He's hard for us to block," Riley stated. "He's a quick, explosive load in there." Speer said Paea's combination of size, strength and athleticism is impressive. "He's pretty much the complete package," Speer said. "He's a power rusher, and he's a finesse guy. He can work different moves or he'll just bull right through you. You never know what he's going to bring."
Thanks to Oregon State's large contingent of Polynesian players, Paea did not suffer through a bout of "home sickness" upon his arrival. He enjoyed the company of team-mates Sioeli Nau (a former Snow teammate), Jesse Fifita and Suaesi Tuimaunei. His roommate was Tonu Tuimalealiifano.
Paea was such a great rugby player back in Tonga, that he seriously considered turning professional. He still occasionally plays touch rugby on the OSU campus, and he's thought about how it would feel carrying the football for the Beavers in a game. It is bad enough he gives offensive guards and centers nightmares knowing they have to face him in the trenches. Imagine the look on linebackers trying to bring him down, if he was allowed to carry the pigskin!
A smart, instinctive player, Paea was a "quick study" when he ventured on the football field at Timpview High School. Even though he never even saw the game before, he went on to earn All-Region VII and All-Division Class 4A honors as a two-way lineman. He received a three-star prospect rating from Rivals.com and a four-star ranking from The Gridiron Report. In addition to football, he lettered in track, competing in the shot put for the Thunderbirds.
DT Stephen Paea
Upon graduation, Paea enrolled at local Snow Community College in 2006. He red-shirted that season, but joined the 2007 squad, helping the team in an undefeated season, which led them to being ranked third in the national junior college poll. He graduated early with an Associate of Arts Degree, joining the Oregon State football team in time for 2008 spring camp.
Paea started twelve of thirteen games for the Beavers, collecting 41 tackles (18 solos). He ranked third on the squad with five sacks and fourth with eleven stops behind the line of scrimmage. That performance earned him Sophomore All-American second-team accolades from College Football News, in addition to receiving All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention.
With a year of major college ball under his belt, Paea became one of the team's captains in 2009. His ability to handle double and triple team coverage allowed his teammates better opportunities to make plays while Paea occupied the middle of the field. He recorded 43 tackles (22 solos) with 8.5 stops for loss that included three sacks while causing four fumbles and recovering another, despite battling thigh and lower leg contusions during the season's second half.
But, his importance to the team was evident, as the Beavers improved from 40th in the nation in rush defense in 2008 (131.23 ypg) to leading the Pac-10 and ranking 13th in that category in 2009, giving up just 98.45 yards per game to opposing ball carriers.
The 2009 All-American, All-Pac 10 Conference and league Morris Trophy recipient was considering bypassing his final season of college eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL Draft, but eventually decided to return to Oregon State for his final campaign. He was courted heavily by agents in the offseason. They wanted him to sign a contract so they could represent him and enter the last April's NFL draft a year early.
"The mother heard some outrageous promises," OSU head coach Mike Riley said. "They were aware enough to get in touch with the right people to advise them." Agents are allowed to contact players, according to OSU associate athletic director for compliance Alex Parker. They just can't sign with them for future representation and return to the college team. Once they sign, they forfeit the rest of their eligibility. Players who keep that a secret get teams in trouble.
Paea returned to school because he wanted to be the first in his family to earn a degree, and enjoyed playing for the Beavers. Agents convinced his parents he could make millions of dollars by leaving school early. "It didn't bother my parents, it bothered me a lot," Paea said of the constant calls. "I wanted to come back from the beginning. My mom and dad were about money. If I left, it was for that reason only. But there was no reason to leave now."
"My mom wanted to go through the process," Paea said. "Then after I did, when they called me I told them I can't. I have a season to take care of. They'll come to work for me someday. So I have to do what's right for me now."
Paea continued his rise through the collegiate ranks in 2010, as the All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice added Morris Trophy honors, an award given to the top linemen in the league. The All-American again caused four fumbles while delivering 45 tackles (20 solos), six sacks and eleven stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Even though Paea played in all twelve 2010 games, he did need a cortisone shot in his leg late in the schedule. Invited to play in the prestigious 2011 Senior Bowl, he suffered a right knee injury during the week's first practice and underwent surgery to repair his lateral meniscus.
Paea started 37-of-38 games since joining the Oregon State program…Recorded 129 tackles (60 solos) with 14.0 sacks for minus 100 yards, 30.5 stops for losses totaling 177 yards and five quarterback pressures…Also caused nine fumbles, recovered another and deflected three passes…His nine forced fumbles established a school career-record, topping the previous mark of seven, first set by Michael Hale (1991-94) and matched by Inoke Breckterfield (1995-98) and Bill Swancutt (2001-04)…His four forced fumbles in both 2009 and 2010 tied the OSU season-record that he shares with John Gonzales (1984), DeLawrence Grant (2000), Coye Francies (2006) and Victor Butler (2008)…Recorded three sacks vs. UCLA in 2009, ranking fifth on the school game-record list behind the quartet of Maurice Porter (vs. Montana; 11/20/1982), Phil Alfieri (vs. Idaho; 9/07/1985), Rich Haggerty (vs. Idaho; 9/07/1985) and Victor Butler (vs. Pittsburgh; 12/31/2008), as each recorded four sacks in their respective contests…His two forced fumbles vs. UCLA in 2009 were the most by an OSU player since DeLawrence Grant set the game-record with three vs. San Diego State (9/23/2000)…Made 115 plays vs. the run at Oregon State, holding opposing ball carriers to 62 yards (0.54 ypc) and one touchdowns…Those runners have managed only ten first downs, as Paea delivered 19 third-down tackles, stopped runners for a loss 32 times (solos/assists), leveled eleven other tailbacks at the line of scrimmage for no gain and delivered 14 of his tackles inside the red zone, including six on goal-line plays…Was the recipient of the Pac-10 Conference's Morris Trophy, given to the top linemen in the league, accomplishing that feat in both 2009 and 2010…Ranks tied for seventh among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers with nine fumbles caused.
Consensus All-American selection…Member of The NFL Draft Report's Dream Team…All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice and named the league's Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to capturing the Morris Trophy, given to the top offensive and defensive linemen in the conference…Started all twelve games at left defensive tackle, as he recorded 45 tackles (20 solos), leading the squad with six sacks for minus 49 yards, finishing with eleven stops for losses totaling 69 yards…Added a quarter-back pressure and two pass deflections…Ranked second in the conference and tied for seventh in the nation, as he tied his own school season-record that he shares with three others, when he caused four fumbles…On 43 running plays directed at him, Paea held those ball carriers to 5 yards (0.12 ypc) and one touchdown, as he delivered eleven stops for loss (assists/ solos), along with taking down rushers at the line of scrimmage for no gain six times… Those runners managed just five first-down carries, as the defensive tackle posted six third-down hits and two more on fourth-down vs. the ground attack.
2010 GAME ANALYSIS
Texas Christian…Paea contributed four tackles (three solos) with one sack…Late in the first quarter, Paea sacked Andy Dalton for a six-yard loss on a third-&-9 attempt, forcing TCU to punt…Head to Head Competition-OG#78 Josh Vernon (6:02-300)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered four stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to nine yards and two first downs, as he made one third-down stop…Part of a defense that allowed 278 yards rushing with three touchdowns on 54 carries (5.1 ypc) and 453 yards in total offense on 81 snaps (5.6 avg).
Louisville…Paea caught a first quarter turnover on downs by dropping Vic Anderson at the line of scrimmage for no gain on third-&-1, as he followed that up by hitting Bilal Powell in the backfield for a one-yard loss on fourth-down…He deflected a pass attempt by Adam Froman later in the opening quarter and finished with three assisted tackles… Head to Head Competition-OG#79 Mark Wetterer (6:05-319)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered three stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to twp yards, as he made one third-down stop and another on fourth-down, taking down one ball carrier at the line of scrimmage for no gain…Part of a defense that allowed 165 yards rushing with three touchdowns on 39 carries (4.2 ypc) and 453 yards in total offense on 77 snaps (5.9 avg).
Arizona State…The senior delivered six tackles (two solos) with two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass deflection…Paea sacked Steven Threet for an eight-yard loss on third-&-8 and caused the signal caller to fumble. Threet recovered the loose ball, but ASU was forced to punt a play later…In the second frame, Paea deflected a pass attempt by Threet and added another sacked for an eight-yard loss on the quarterback, helping to hold Arizona State to consecutive three-and-out possessions…Head to Head Competition-OG#70 Mike Marcisz (6:05-304)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered six stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to minus nine yards and one first down, as he made two third-down stops…Part of a defense that allowed 161 yards rushing with two touch-downs on 51 carries (3.2 ypc) and 364 yards in total offense on 80 snaps (4.6 avg).
DT Stephen Paea
Gary A. Vasquez/US Presswire
UCLA…Paea had two tackles (one solo), including a three-yard stop for loss on quarter-back Richard Brehaut in the fourth quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#77 Darius Savage (6:04-339)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered two stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to no yards…Part of a defense that allowed 210 yards rushing with two touchdowns on 55 carries (3.8 ypc) and 337 yards in total offense on 74 snaps (4.6 avg).
Washington State…The defensive tackle delivered a career-high eight tackles (three solos)…In the third frame, Paea sacked Jeff Tuel for a seven-yard loss and jarred the ball loose. Lance Mitchell recovered for the Beavers, who converted the turnover into a touch-down on the ensuing possession…Head to Head Competition-OG#55 Wade Jacobson (6:06-304)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered eight stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to minus two yards and one first down, as he made one fourth-down stop and took down three ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain…Part of a defense that allowed 221 yards rushing with three touchdowns on 61 carries (3.6 ypc) and 378 yards in total offense on 76 snaps (5.0 avg).
Southern California…Paea was named the Pacific 10 Conference's Defensive Player of the Week after notching six tackles (one solo), including 2.5 stops for losses totaling eight yards…He tackled Marc Tyler in the backfield for a two-yard loss in the opening quarter… Later that period, he hit the tailback again for a one-yard loss on a third-&-8 reception, holding the opposition to three-and-out…The senior stopped C.J. Gable for a four-yard loss in the final frame and then sacked Mitch Mustain for a five-yard loss in the waning moments of the contest, forcing the quarterback to fumble. Taylor Henry recovered for Oregon State, who converted the turnover into a touchdown on the ensuing possession… Head to Head Competition-OG#67 Michael Reardon (6:05-290)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered five stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to minus nine yards, as he took down one ball carrier at the line of scrimmage for no gain…Made one stop vs. the aerial attack, tackling the receiver for minus one yard on that reception, as he made one third-down stop…Part of a defense that allowed 120 yards rushing with one touchdown on 35 carries (3.4 ypc) and 255 yards in total offense on 71 snaps (3.6 avg).
Stanford…Paea sacked Andrew Luck for a 15-yard loss in the second quarter and forced the signal caller to fumble. Ryan Whalen recovered to retain possession for Stanford… Later that period, he stopped Anthony Wilkerson for a one-yard loss and then pressured Luck into throwing and incomplete pass on third-&-2, holding the opposition to three-and-out…Paea caught another three-and-out in the fourth quarter by tackling Tyler Gaffney short of a conversion on a third-&-8 rushing attempt…Head to Head Competition-OG#71 Andrew Phillips (6:05-302)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defender registered eight stops vs. the ground game, holding runners to five yards and one first down, as he made two third-down stops…Added one third-down quarterback pressure…Part of a defense that allowed 165 yards rushing with one touchdown on 39 carries (4.2 ypc) and 470 yards in total offense on 69 snaps (6.8 avg).
All-American second-team choice and Super Sleeper Team selection by The NFL Draft Report, a scouting information service that rated Paea as the most underrated defensive lineman in the Pac-10 Conference…He added All-Pac 10 Conference first-team honors and was the recipient of the Morris Trophy, a unique award given to the outstanding offensive and defensive linemen in the league…What makes the award unique is the selection procedure, which has the starting offensive linemen in the conference voting for the defensive winner and vice versa…Facing constant double- and triple-team coverage, the right defensive tackle's statistics did not equal his sophomore year totals, but thanks to his dominance in the middle of the field, the Beavers rank 13th in the nation and lead the conference in rush defense, allowing just 98.45 yards per game…Finished with 43 tackles (22 solos) with three sacks for minus 19 yards, 8.5 stops for losses totaling 52 yards and three QB pressures…Recovered a fumble and tied a school season-record by causing four others…Made 32 of his hits vs. the ground game, as he held those ball carriers to 40 yards (1.25 ypc), taking down eight of those runners for losses and three others at the line of scrimmage for no gain…Allowed four first-down rushing attempts, making seven third-down hits vs. the run and three others vs. the pass (all on pressures)…Posted four of his stops inside the red zone, including two on goal-line plays.
2009 GAME ANALYSIS
Portland State…The first unit played in just the first quarter, as Paea recovered a fumble to set up a touchdown drive and had one assisted tackle…On the second play of the game, he tackled fullback Bobby McClintock on a 1-yard run…On PSU's next drive, he recovered a fumble by receiver Daniel Wolverton to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Beavers' tail-back Jacquizz Rodgers to stake OSU to a 14-0 lead…Head to Head Competition-OG#74-Moses Punzel (6:03-305)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made two stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to one yard (0.50 ypc), as he made one third-down tackle… Part of a defense that gave up 77 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries (3.08 ypc) and 351 total yards on 66 plays (5.32 yards per attempt).
Nevada-Las Vegas…Paea was limited to just one tackle, but on that play, he took down Omar Clayton at the LV 43 after a 1-yard run…Head to Head Competition-OG#63-Sean Tesoro (6:02-293).
Cincinnati…The defensive captain delivered a season-high five tackles, as he also assisted in a stop behind the line of scrimmage…Late in the first quarter, he sniffed out a screen pass, tackling receiver Mardy Gilyard after a 1-yard gain near mid field…QB Tony Pike's option run was aborted after Paea leveled the passer for a 2-yard loss on a third-&-10 snap, forcing the Bearcats to punt just before halftime…He later upended tailback Isaiah Pead on a third-&-7 carry for one yard, as Cincinnati would then attempt a 31-yard field goal, but the kick was wide right…Head to Head Competition-OG#60-Jason Kelce (6:04-294)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made two stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to minus one yard (-0.50 ypc), as he made two third-down tackles, including one inside the red zone…Part of a defense that gave up 76 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries (3.30 ypc) and 408 total yards on 72 plays (5.66 yards per attempt).
Arizona…Paea posted four tackles with a pair of pressures in a tough 37-32 loss vs. a team with a first-time starting quarterback…The team captain showed his frustration over the loss in the post-game press conference, stating, "It was the same thing we saw on Cincinnati with the three-step drop. We could have done better."…Paea introduced the UA quarterback, Nick Foles, to life in the Pac-10, giving chase on a second-&-goal snap at the OSU 4, as Foles wisely threw the ball away…The junior defensive tackle killed the first possession of the second half when he pressured Foles into tossing another incomplete pass on a third-&-5 snap at the OSU 35…Head to Head Competition-OG#54-Herman Hall (6:03-303)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made four stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 13 yards (3.25 ypc), as he made one third-down tackle and two hits inside the red zone, including one on a goal-line play…Part of a defense that gave up 134 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries (4.06 ypc) and 388 total yards on 67 plays (5.79 yards per attempt).
Arizona State…ASU kept their running game far from Paea, as the defensive tackle was in on just a pair of hits…One of his tackles leveled Ryan Bass on a 1-yard run and the tail-back had to leave the game early in the second quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#59-Jon Hargis (6:03-312)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made two stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 3 yards (1.50 ypc)…Part of a defense that gave up 68 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries (2.19 ypc) and 406 total yards on 89 plays (4.56 yards per attempt).
Stanford…Stanford followed the same game plan as Arizona State – stay away from Stephen Paea, as the defensive leader was again on the boards for just two tackles…In the post-game press conference, Paea talked about Stanford relying more on their passing game, as he noted, "We practiced to stop the power run, and I think they knew that, because they do a lot of running. Their O-line is big. We were trying to hit them before they move their feet. That O-line is good. It's the best in the conference."…Asked about the significance of the 38-28 victory and he quickly replied, "It was a defining moment for us. We were expecting a tough game, and it was a tough one, but this is just another win in the Pac-10."…Asked about the changes the team made since the Arizona game and he said, "Guys are playing hard. If we didn't get the double teams, our linebackers can't get their hands on the ball."… Head to Head Competition-OG#59-Jon Hargis (6:03-312)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made two stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 3 yards (1.50 ypc)…Part of a defense that gave up 68 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries (2.19 ypc) and 406 total yards on 89 plays (4.56 yards per attempt).
Southern California…The Trojans handed the Beavers a 42-36 loss, as Paea registered all four of his tackles vs. the ground game…In the fourth quarter, he twice stopped ball carriers on 1-yard rushing attempts, sending Allen Bradford to the sidelines with a hip injury on a third-down rush with 5:41 left in the game.
DT Stephen Paea
Craig Mitchelldyer/US Presswire
UCLA…Paea had perhaps his finest game for OSU, as he recorded four tackles that included three sacks, causing two fumbles on those QB drops to guide the Beavers to a 26-19 decision…The defensive captain executed a bull rush that saw him sack QB Kevin Price on a third-&-5 snap for a 6-yard loss, causing a fumble that the Bruins recovered, but UCLA was then forced to punt the ball away…On the next possession, Paea sacked QB Richard Brehaut for a 7-yard loss on a third-&-3 play, again causing a fumble that the Bruins recovered, only to punt again…Price re-enter the game late in the fourth quarter, only to be met by Paea, who sacked the QB for minus 6 yards on a first-&-goal snap at the OSU 10…Record Watch-Paea's three sacks rank fifth on the school game-record list behind the quartet of Maurice Porter (vs. Montana; 11/20/1982), Phil Alfieri (vs. Idaho; 9/07/1985), Rich Haggerty (vs. Idaho; 9/07/1985) and Victor Butler (vs. Pittsburgh; 12/31/2008), as each recorded four sacks in their respective contests…His two forced fumbles were the most by an OSU player since DeLawrence Grant set the game-record with three vs. San Diego State (9/23/2000)…Head to Head Competition-OG#60-Jeff Baca (6:04-306)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made four stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to minus 16 yards (-4.00 ypc), as he caused two fumbles, made two third-down stops, including one on a goal-line play…Part of a defense that gave up 51 yards and no touchdowns on 29 carries (1.76 ypc) and 374 total yards on 63 plays (5.94 yards per attempt).
California…Paea collected four tackles, including one for a loss (two assisted stops) to go with a QB pressure in a 31-14 victory…His violent collision with Jahvid Best on a 1-yard run over right guard on the game's opening possession would force the All-American tailback to the sidelines with a head injury…Best would re-enter the game in the second quarter, only to again get flattened by Paea on a 1-yard run around left tackle…The defensive captain also killed a third quarter series when he pressured QB Kevin Riley into throwing a third-&-16 incomplete pass, bringing out the Cal punt team…Shane Vereen caught a pass in the flat from Riley, only to have Paea clobber him for a 4-yard loss early in the fourth quarter and on the Bears' next series, the junior defensive tackle stopped Vereen for a 2-yard loss on a second-&-goal run up the middle of the line with 1:59 left in the contest…Best would finish the day with one of his lowest rushing outputs for his career, 29 yards on nine carries…Head to Head Competition-OG#75-Matt Summers-Gavin (6:04-291)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made three stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to zero yards (0.00 ypc), as he made one third-down stop, along with one tackle on a goal-line play…Part of a defense that gave up 39 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries (1.63 ypc) and 239 total yards on 58 plays (4.12 yards per attempt).
Washington…For the third consecutive game, Paea registered a stop behind the line of scrimmage, adding five tackles…On the second play of the game, he stopped tailback Chris Polk for a 3-yard loss at the UW 19…Polk tried to break free up the middle of the line later in the opening stanza, but Paea dropped the runner for no gain…Just before halftime, The junior defensive lineman showed off his foot speed, as missed tackles along the side-lines saw Paea give chase to haul Polk down on a 16-yard run…Late in the third quarter, the defensive captain again dragged Polk down for a 2-yard loss at the Huskies 6-yard line…Head to Head Competition-OG#79-Ben Ossai (6:06-335)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made four stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 11 yards (2.75 ypc), as he stopped one runner for no gain at the line of scrimmage…Part of a defense that gave up 121 yards and no touchdowns on 30 carries (4.03 ypc) and 274 total yards on 53 plays (5.17 yards per attempt).
Washington State…The junior defensive captain totaled four tackles (3 solos), but for the first time in his OSU career, he was called for an offside penalty…He made up for that miscue by stopping Kevin Lopina for no gain on a third-&-6 run, bringing out the WSU punt team at the start of the second quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#54-Zack Williams (6:04-303)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made four stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 11 yards (2.75 ypc), as he stopped one runner for no gain at the line of scrimmage and made one third-down tackle…Part of a defense that gave up 59 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries (2.46 ypc) and 192 total yards on 56 plays (3.43 yards per attempt).
Paea garnered Sophomore All-American honors from College Football News and was an All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention during his first season with the Beavers…He started all but the Oregon contest, as the right defensive tackle was bothered by a right knee medial collateral ligament sprain and bursa sac issues late in the campaign…The sophomore posted 41 tackles (14 solos) as he ranked third on the team and 12th in the conference with five sacks for minus 32 yards…Finished fourth on the team with 11.0 stops for losses totaling 56 yards, as he helped OSU rank fourth in the nation with an average of 8.08 tackles-for-loss and 3.0 sacks per game…Added a quarterback pressure and a pass deflection while also causing one fumble…On 40 tackles vs. the ground game, he limited opposing ball carriers to a miniscule 17 yards, an average of 0.43 yards per attempt, as he allowed just one first down, made six third-down stops, took down ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain twice and posted eight tackles inside the red zone, including two on goal-line plays.
2008 GAME ANALYSIS
Stanford…Thrust into the starting lineup for the season opener, Paea posted four tackles (3 solos)…He wasted little time getting his uniform dirty, as he tackled Anthony Kimble on the game's second play from scrimmage, good for a 6-yard run…He later leveled All-Pac 10 tailback Toby Gerhart on the Cardinal's next series, driving the runner hard into the ground, forcing Gerhart to temporarily leave the game…Head to Head Competition-OG#72-Chase Beeler (6:03-288)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made four stops vs. the run, allowing ball carriers 16 yards (4.00 ypc)…Part of a defense that gave up 210 yards and two touchdowns on 48 carries (4.38 ypc) and 301 total yards on 65 plays (4.63 yards per attempt).
Penn State…Paea registered two solo tackles, as he also came up with his first stop behind the line of scrimmage for OSU…Late in the second quarter, he blasted through offensive tackle Gerald Cadogan to drag down receiver Derrick Williams for a 3-yard loss on a reverse at the OSU 22…Head to Head Competition-OG#64-Rich Ohrnberg (6:02-296)… Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made two stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to minus 2 yards (-1.00 ypc), as he made both tackles inside the red zone…Part of a defense that gave up 239 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries (6.29 ypc) and 454 total yards on 65 plays (6.98 yards per attempt).
Hawaii…Paea assisted on a sack, in addition to making two stops behind the line of scrimmage and four tackles in a 45-7 romp…He batted down QB Tyler Graunke's pass attempt earlier in the first quarter and later in the opening frame, he forced the Warriors to punt after dragging down Daniel Libre on a third-&-1 run for a 5-yard loss…In the third quarter, Libre was forced to leave the game after Paea leveled him for a 1-yard loss on a rushing attempt and two plays later on third-&-4, the right tackle helped sack QB Inoke Funaki for a 7-yard loss, bringing out the Hawaii punt squad…Head to Head Competition-OG#63-Bryson Ginlack (6:02-310)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made three stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to minus 13 yards (-4.33 ypc), as he made two third-down stops…Part of a defense that gave up 57 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries (2.85 ypc) and 211 total yards on 55 plays (3.84 yards per attempt).
Southern California…The sophomore right defensive tackle was limited to just an assisted stop in a 27-21 decision…On that play, he took down tailback Stafon Johnson on a 1-yard run to the USC 46 in the fourth quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#53-Jeff Byers (6:04-288).
Utah…Playing against a university in a state where he resided earlier, Paea spent the afternoon wreaking havoc in the backfield, recording a pair of sacks for minus 14 yards to go with five tackles (3 solos)…Just before halftime, he fired past the line of scrimmage to sack QB Brian Johnson for an 11-yard loss at the Utes 13…He wasted little time getting to Johnson again in the second half, sacking the QB for a 3-yard loss on Utah's first play for the third quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#72-Caleb Schlauderaff (6:04-305)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made five stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to minus 8 yards (-1.60 ypc), as he made one third-down stop and two tackles inside the red zone…Part of a defense that gave up 136 yards and one touchdown on 38 carries (3.58 ypc) and 337 total yards on 69 plays (4.88 yards per attempt).
DT Stephen Paea
Chris Morrison/US Presswire
Washington State…Paea continued his dominance in the trenches, delivering a season-high six tackles that included 1.5 stops for losses totaling 6 yards…Despite being held on the play. He tackled Chantz Staden on a game-opening third-&-23 run that netted 3 yards… WSU quarterback Mars Lobbestael fumbled the ball after he was sacked and Cougars guard Andrew Roxas recovered it, but Paea pounced on the lineman to prevent any return at the WSU 20, forcing the opponent to punt midway through the opening frame…Midway through the third quarter, Paea slipped through the "B" gap to level Staden behind the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard loss at the WSU 18…Head to Head Competition-OG#73-Andrew Roxas (6:02-282)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made six stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 7 yards (1.17 ypc), as he made two third-down stops…Part of a defense that gave up 53 yards and one touchdown on 42 carries (1.26 ypc) and 132 total yards on 59 plays (2.24 yards per attempt).
Washington…For the only time during his career at Oregon State, Paea did not record any tackles in a contest…Head to Head Competition-OG#76-Jordan White-Frisbee (6:05-368).
Arizona State…Both of Paea's tackles came vs. the run, stopping ball carriers for just a 1-yard gain on each attempt…Head to Head Competition-OG#67-Shawn Lauvao (6:03-293)… Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made two stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 2 yards (1.00 ypc)…Part of a defense that gave up 78 yards and no touchdowns on 32 carries (2.44 ypc) and 295 total yards on 60 plays (4.92 yards per attempt).
UCLA…Paea registered his third sack for the year (unassisted), but was limited the rest of the game with a right knee sprain…Late in the first quarter, he dropped QB Kevin Craft for a 6-yard loss at the Bruins' 25…Head to Head Competition-OG#77-Darius Savage (6:04-353)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made one stop vs. the run, holding ball carriers to minus 6 yards (-6.00 ypc)…Part of a defense that gave up 48 yards and no touchdowns on 27 carries (1.78 ypc) and 237 total yards on 70 plays (3.39 yards per attempt).
California…Paea matched his season-high with six tackles (3 solos), adding a sack among his two stops for losses of 13 yards…He came up with two key tackles on an early first quarter goal-line stand, stopping Shane Vereen for no gain on one run and took down Jahvid Best after a 3-yard pick-up to the OSU 5…With 1:21 left in the first half, he sacked QB Kevin Riley for a 5-yard loss…In the final stanza, he sniffed out an end-around, as he leveled Best behind the line for an 8-yard loss at the Cal 12…Head to Head Competition-OG#70-Mark Boskovich (6:04-301)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made six stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to zero yards (0.00 ypc), as he stopped one runner for no gain at the line of scrimmage and made two goal-line tackles…Part of a defense that gave up 85 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries (2.83 ypc) and 232 total yards on 57 plays (4.07 yards per attempt).
Arizona…The sophomore right tackle managed just one assisted tackle…Head to Head Competition-OG#74-Mike Diaz (6:05-344).
Oregon…A bursa sac issue in his knee kept Paea out of the starting lineup, but he came off the bench to registered five tackles and 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage…On Oregon's first possession, he upended Jeremiah Johnson for a 3-yard loss on a carry near midfield…Midway through the fourth quarter, he assisted in tackling tailback LeGarrette Blount for a 1-yard loss at the OSU 45…Head to Head Competition-OG#69-Bo Thran (6:05-303)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made five stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 9 yards (1.80 ypc), as he made two tackles inside the red zone…Part of a defense that gave up 385 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries (7.55 ypc) and 694 total yards on 69 plays (10.06 yards per attempt).
Pittsburgh (Sun Bowl)…Paea closed out his first year with the Beavers by collecting four tackles and a pressure…He chased down Bill Stull on a third-&-3 second quarter snap, resulting in an incomplete pass and midway through the third quarter, he clobbered tail-back LeSean McCoy at the line of scrimmage for no gain, as the sophomore runner was injured on the play…McCoy returned late in the fourth quarter, only to have Paea shove the Pitt left guard into the runner on a third-&-9 carry that netted just one yard, as the Panthers then attempted a 57-yard field goal that was wide right with 2:02 left in the game. OSU then ran out the clock, preserving a 3-0 shutout…Head to Head Competition-OG#70-Dominic Williams (6:04-309)…Paea Defensive Impact-The defensive tackle made four stops vs. the run, holding ball carriers to 8 yards (2.00 ypc), as he made two third-down tackles and stopped one ball carrier for no gain at the line of scrimmage…Part of a defense that gave up 89 yards and no touchdowns on 37 carries (2.41 ypc) and 178 total yards on 65 plays (2.74 yards per attempt).
Paea attended Snow (Utah) Community College from 2006-07, red-shirting his first season…Helped the team go undefeated and finish with a third-place national ranking in 2007…Graduated early with an Associate of Arts Degree.
2008 Season…Suffered a right knee medial collateral ligament sprain vs. UCLA (11/08)… Did not start vs. Oregon (11/29) due to bursa sac issues in his knee (unrelated to his MCL injury). 2009 Season…Hampered the second half of the season with thigh and lower leg contusions. 2010 Season…Received a cortisone injection in his leg late in the season…Missed the 2011 Senior Bowl after he suffered right knee lateral meniscus damage during the first practice session in Mobile and underwent surgery to repair.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.89 in the 40-yard dash…1.63 10-yard dash…2.78 20-yard dash…4.23 20-yard shuttle… 6.89 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9'1" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 50 times…720-pound squat…410-pound power clean…33 ½-inch arm length…10 3/8-inch hands…77 5/8-inch wingspan.
Attended Timpview (Provo, Ut.) High School, but did not compete in football until his senior season…Played on both sides of the line, as his twin brother, Will was also a team-mate, participating as a running back and linebacker…Earned All-Region VII and All-Division Class 4A honors as a two-way lineman…Received a three-star prospect rating from Rivals.com and a four-star ranking from The Gridiron Report…In addition to football, he lettered in track, competing in the shot put for the Thunderbirds.
Sociology major…Moved to the United States with his family at age sixteen and did not speak English until enrolling in school in Utah…Participated in the "Learning Through Listening: Native American Issues in Rural Oregon Communities during spring break, involving five days of interacting with the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians…Twin brother, Will, was a running back and linebacker at Timpview High School and presently plays at Foothill Community College, where their younger brother, Pora, is also a member of that football team…Son of Ana and Peniamin (Ben) Paea…Born on the island of Vav'u, within the Tongan Island, on 11/30/89.
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