|No. 90 Washington Redskins|
|Date of birth:||May 11, 1988|
|Place of birth:||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||300 lb (136 kg)|
|High school:||Provo (UT) Timpview|
|NFL draft:||2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2014
|Stats at NFL.com|
Stephen Paea (// PY-ə; born May 11, 1988) is an American football defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Oregon State University, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Paea grew up in Vavaʻu, Tonga, where he played high school rugby union and dreamt of playing at Number 8 for the All Blacks. When he was 16, his family moved to the United States, originally to Lawrence, Kansas, where his cousin Chris Maumalanga was playing for the Kansas Jayhawks. After a year, they moved to Provo, Utah, where Paea attended Timpview High School. Playing defensive line at only 240 pounds, he drew little attention by Division I schools, so he decided to enroll at nearby Snow College in Ephraim.
After redshirting his initial year at Snow, he added more than 20 pounds to his frame and started the 2007 season as the No. 2 tackle on the depth chart. Finally drawing the attention of major schools, he transferred to Oregon State in mid-season after graduating from Snow with an associate degree in December 2007.
Paea attended Oregon State University, where he played for the Oregon State Beavers football team from 2008 to 2010. Making an immediate impact for the Beavers, Paea played in all 13 games, starting 12 of them, and recorded 41 tackles, 11 for a loss, and five quarterback sacks. He was selected to College Football News′ All-Sophomore Second Team and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection.
As a junior, he registered a team-leading 8.5 tackles for loss and was co-leader for sacks with three. He was named All-Pacific-10 First Team and received the Morris Trophy for the best defensive lineman in the conference.
Paea was a nominee for the Bill Hayward Athlete of the Year Award at the 2011 Oregon Sports Awards.
2011 NFL Draft
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 1 1⁄4 in||303 lb||32 7⁄8 in||10 in||4.98 s||1.83 s||2.75 s||2.18 s||38.5" in||10'6" ft 126 in||49 reps|
|All values from NFL Combine|
In a Sunday Night Football game on October 16 against the Minnesota Vikings, as well as his NFL debut, Paea sacked Donovan McNabb in the end zone for a safety, being the first Bears player to record a safety in his debut since at least 1970.
"If I had one word to describe him, it would be a beast. He’s just strong as hell. When he was our d-tackle and I was playing corner, it was good knowing he was in there rushing the quarterback."—Brandon Hardin on Paea
- "Fate switches dream of being All Black to NFL". The New Zealand Herald. October 29, 2014.
- Stephen Paea: From Tonga to Oregon State[dead link]
- "Beavs land athletic tackle from Snow College". Footballrecruiting.rivals.com. 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Stephen Paea Bench Press on YouTube
- "Beaver from Tonga learning on the fly". Arizona Daily Star. October 7, 2010.
- Mortensen, Chris (January 25, 2011). "Sources: DT Stephen Paea tears lateral meniscus in knee at Senior Bowl". ESPN.
- Saunders, Patrick (February 23, 2010). "Don't put too much stock in NFL combine". Denver Post.
- "Paea shatters combine bench-press mark". NFL.com. February 27, 2011.
- Hester's injury not considered serious. Chicagobears.com (2011-10-17). Retrieved on 2012-02-28.
- Biggs, Brad (2012-04-24). "Bears LB Roach wins Piccolo Award". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- "Rookie's father a big Walter Payton fan". Chicagobears.com. 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "DT Stephen Paea hurts left ankle, latest Chicago Bears player hobbled - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- "Bears-Colts Inactives: Podlesh, Conte Will Play « CBS Chicago". Chicago.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Sessler, Marc. "Stephen Paea says he's headed for Redskins". NFL.com. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Jones, Mike. "Redskins reach agreement with Bears defensive lineman Stephen Paea". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2015.