By now Bucs fans are starting to get their mouths around Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea, fortunately for the rest of us who cannot manage that our newest number 1 pick goes by the name Vita Vea!
Growing up in Milpitas, CA to Tongan immigrants, Vea didn’t play football until he was already in 6th grade! Playing the sport came with a baptism of fire as he went up against 8th and 9th graders and many lumps and hard lessons were forthcoming to shape Vea into the physical specimen that would become a first round draft pick. Vita Vea is no stranger to adversity off the field either, Living in the family SUV after being made homeless with his family in 2009. It would seem that the player who is rarely seen without a smile on his face is, to quote the man himself, living the NFL dream.
How is got there is almost worthy of a Hollywood movie script, after excelling on both sides of the football as a D lineman and running back, Vea was highly recruited before settling on Washington State due to their history of developing Polynesian players and becoming a stand out Defensive Tackle. The player credits a lot of his strength and athleticism to his natural physique as well as a family friend, who was seen as an uncle figure, delivering “brutal” weight programs, designed to make the most of what he was given.
Buccaneer fans will be waiting to see what Vea brings to the new look defensive line and how he works with current stand out Gerald McCoy.