Detroit Lions select Desert Hills alum Penei Sewell with No. 7 pick in 2021 draft

Penei Sewell of the Oregon Ducks is flanked by his parents Arlene and Gabriel Sewell after his team's season-opening win over Bowling Green at Eugene, Ore., Sept. 1, 2018 | Courtesy photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — St. George’s own Penei Sewell is the Detroit Lions’ No. 7 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Sewell played football at Desert Hills High School before graduating in 2018.

A biography of Sewell by Chad Reuter on the NFL website reads as follows:

Penei (pronounced peh-NAY) Sewell grew up in American Samoa, but his family moved to Utah when he was in middle school. His play at Desert Hills High School gained him four-star recruit rankings. Sewell became the first Oregon true freshman to start a season opener in 20 years; he started seven games that year at left tackle but missed six games due to an ankle injury.

His talent truly shined in 2019, as the 13-game starter at left tackle won the Outland Trophy (first sophomore offensive lineman and first Polynesian player to receive the award). He was also a unanimous All-American and the Polynesian College Football Co-Player of the Year. Sewell opted out of the 2020 season. His brother Gabriel played college football at Nevada and his brother Nephi plays for Utah. Penei’s younger brother Noah plays for Oregon. Two uncles, Isaac Sopoaga and Richard Brown, played in the NFL.

This is a developing story.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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