Opeta competes with elite prospects

Joe Traub

A successful season for the Weber State University football team carried over into January, as senior offensive lineman Iosua Opeta played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 19.

The contest serves as a premier all-star game for any draft eligible college players. Opeta finished his five-year career at WSU on Dec. 7 when his team was eliminated from the FCS playoffs with a quarterfinal loss to Maine.

Opeta was on the roster of the National team, who fell to the American team by a score of 10–7. He delivered a key block on a 15-yard run by Nico Evans from the University of Wyoming.

“It was an amazing experience meeting some of the best players in the nation and being able to compete against them,” Opeta said. “It really helped show me a little bit about how different it will be competing at the next level because everyone is
good now.”

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman attended the event. Opeta said he learned from observing and listening
to him.

Opeta Bowl (1 of 1).jpg
Weber State sets up against South Dakota. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)

“Basically, what he said to us was we have to be ready for adversity at the next level,” Opeta said. “The process we are going through right now is what counts most because everything now is an interview of a lifetime.”

Opeta is widely regarded as a prospect for the upcoming NFL Draft in April. He has racked up a number of awards during his tenure as a Wildcat, including receiving All-America and All-Big Sky Conference honors twice.

“With how my senior bowl went and how I think I might do at the combine and in pro day, I hope to be taken somewhere in the first four rounds,” Opeta said. “To be drafted at any given time would be a great

Opeta was a key contributor to the turnaround of Weber State football, as he helped transform the team from three consecutive two-win seasons in 2012-14 to three straight playoff appearances. He played in all 50 games the last four seasons, with WSU amassing a 34–16 record.

“My favorite role that I played in helping the Wildcats was making the transition from D-line to O-line,” Opeta said. “I feel like I was able to do more for the team to help us get to the playoffs that first year in 2016.”