Middle of the Country – Middle of the Road

World, Regional & Local News of Interest!

NFL Combine Results: Utah Linebacker Nephi Sewell

The University of Utah’s Nephi Sewell, a former safety converted to linebacker, was one of the fortunate few who were invited to the 2022 NFL Combine over the weekend. Once he made the position switch, Sewell became a huge asset for the Utes during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. This past year he ranked second on defense with 89 tackles, including 7.5 tackles-for-loss. At 5-foot-11 and 226 pounds Nephi is smaller than average at the linebacker position but NFL analysts like his reaction time to get to plays, and as a former safety, the playmaker’s athleticism and activeness on the field is a plus.

The two-time All-Pac-12 selection put his talents to work during athletic testing and on-the-field drills to show that his smaller size shouldn’t matter and to let his strengths do the talking. He ran a 4.67 40-yard dash, had a 32 inch vertical jump and 120 inch broad jump. He ran 7.01 in the 3-cone drill(which placed him second overall in the linebacker group) and 4.33 in the 20-yard shuttle.

Sewell, a local talent from St. George, Utah, comes from a long history of football talent. His uncle’s Isa’ako Sopoago and Richard Brown played in the NFL. His older brother Penei, an offensive tackle, was selected No. 7 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to Detroit Lions and younger brother Noah is a linebacker for the Oregon Ducks who looks well on his way to playing in the NFL, as well. But, to see where Nephi is currently, it hasn’t been a straightforward easy road to get here.

Prior to Utah, Nephi played 23 games at Nevada as a safety before becoming a walk-on at Utah, where he ultimately earned a scholarship in camp. In 2020 Utah switched Sewell from a safety to linebacker where his hardwork and dedication has paid off. He now has 44 career games in FBS football (18 starts at Utah), he was 8th overall in the Pac-12 with 6.8 tackles per game for the 2021 season and capped off his junior year in the Rose Bowl Game with eight tackles against No. 6 Ohio State.

Sewell’s transition from a safety to a breakout linebacker is evidence that through the right program and coaching staff, developing strong talented athletes is a key component to a successful program; there is no denying that Utah has found success in crafting NFL-caliber talent. Through hardwork and perseverance Nephi has proven why he was selected to participate at the combine this past weekend. He’s a serious candidate at the linebacker position for any NFL organization, and his NFL bloodlines, they’re some of the best around.