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Alex | Gallardo UCLA guard Xavier Su'a-Filo (56) warms up on the field prior to their NCCA college football game against Colorado Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Former Timpview standout Xavier Su’a-Filo drafted by Houston Texans

First Published May 09 2014 05:31 pm • Last Updated May 09 2014 11:56 pm

After going unpicked through the first round of the NFL Draft, it crossed Xavier Su’a-Filo’s mind that he might have some more waiting to do

But a day was enough. The Houston Texans made the former Utah prep standout the first pick of the NFL Draft’s second round, and he was ecstatic when he heard the news.

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"I wasn’t expecting it, but I was definitely hoping it," he told The Tribune, celebrating with family in Pleasant Grove. "It was so sweet. It was freaking sweet. It felt good to get into such a great organization, it felt right."

UCLA offensive guard and former Timpview All-American lineman Su’a-Filo was the first prospect with Utah ties to get picked this year.

The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Su’a-Filo declared for the draft after his junior year with the Bruins. He started 19 games at tackle and 21 games at guard for UCLA, helping the program to a 10-3 record and a victory in the Sun Bowl. He was commonly evaluated as one of the top guard prospects leading into the draft.

Going at No. 33 overall, he became the highest-drafted lineman out of UCLA since Hall-of-Famer Jonathan Ogden in 1996. Houston is attempting to shore up an offensive line that gave up 42 sacks last year.

Looking into his situation, there’s a lot to be excited about: He can’t wait to block for Arian Foster, but he also is excited about playing on a team with defensive stalwarts J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and new pick Jadeveon Clowney.

"These are guys I loved watching the last couple years," Su’a-Filo said. "I’m looking forward to getting in and playing for Coach [Bill] O’Brien. I’m hoping I can come in and compete right away."

As a high school athlete, Su’a-Filo helped lead Timpview to three consecutive 4A football titles between 2006 and 2008, winning 36 games in the process. He was an Under Armour All-American, a Parade All-American and one of the top lineman prospects in the country.

Su’a-Filo served a two-year LDS Church mission in Alabama and Florida while enrolled at UCLA.

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Some of his best friends are from those great T-bird teams, and he said, and they all gave him a call. Even since his high school days, he’s believed he could play in the NFL. Now he gets a chance to prove it.

"I just wanted to take it step by step, playing for Coach [Louis] Wong, playing at UCLA, and now I’m in Houston," he said. "I can’t tell you how much it means to me, and now it’s a reality."


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