By Ernie Gonzalez (@superego1012):
Picture playing alongside a rookie Khalil Mack, in front of no-doubt first–ballot hall of famer Charles Woodson and for a first–year QB in Derek Carr, fresh out of a legendary senior season at Fresno State.
That was the life Bojay Filimoeatu had, until he didn’t.
A knee injury ended his playing career at age 24, but little did he know it was the beginning of a new one, one that can last forever.
“Learning from them helped me learn [not] only as a player, but also as a coach because they’re coaches on the field,” Filimoeatu told The Spear.
As a former Oakland Raiders linebacker, Filimoeatu knows all too well about the fundamentals of football;, from scanning an offense once they break a huddle, to when to button a blitz, or just knowing when to drop back in coverage.
That’s almost how his career shaped out to be, as it was an overload blitz of making it to the league.
Filimoeatu was the No. 36 junior college prospect before landing in Aggieville at Utah State, where he proved to be an outstanding linebacker there, totaling 112 tackles in his junior and senior campaigns.
That was the Filimoeatu the player. Filimoeatu the coach has ‘dropped back in coverage,’ and is now the new linebackers coach of the 2017 Spartans.
“I love coaching,” Filimoeatu said. “I love seeing my players, especially the ones I work with succeed.”
His group has not disappointed, as that talk about success has been crystal clear. In the first two games of the season, Spartan linebackers have accumulated 80 tackles, 30 by ‘The Tank,’ junior Frank Ginda.
“He’s such a tough guy,” said head coach Brent Brennan about Ginda’s career-setting performance Saturday versus Cal Poly. “He plays so hard all the time. Im proud of that kid.”
Filimoeatu has also played an instrumental piece in sophomore Ethan Aguayo’s development as a true and complete inside linebacker.
Aguayo made the switch during the offseason from safety to linebacker and has been outstanding since, currently sitting second to Ginda on the team with 24 tackles.
Other notable players put through the Filimoeatu mill include William Ossai and Jamaal Scott, both junior college transfers who have tallied 26 tackles in the first two games.
It seems as if Filimoeatu has found comfort here in San Jose. He loves the city, he loves the vibe and most importantly, he loves his job.
“I love it here,” Filimoeatu told The Spear. “My wife loves it here. My dog loves it here. The weather is great… The coaching staff is like a family.”
Coach has a point. What’s not to love about San Jose State football right now? I mean, even the man’s dog is all in.