Breiden Fehoko lived out a lifelong dream on Sunday when he made his official NFL debut. The Los Angeles Chargers rookie defensive tackle saw action but did not record any tackles in a 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Fehoko, a Farrington and LSU alum, signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in April. He’s seemingly been a fan favorite at every stop he’s made in his football career, and that didn’t change when he was one of the featured players on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” during preseason camp. Although he didn’t make the active 53-man roster prior to Week 1, he latched on to the team’s practice squad.
[Latest stories from Hawaii’s Sports Station — KHON2 Sports]
After being activated to the active roster prior to Week 12, Fehoko now joins a rare and elite fraternity of athletes who can say they appeared in an NFL regular season game. Fehoko, who earned his shot through his persistence, doesn’t plan to stop grinding away anytime soon.
“I think now more than anything, it’s more about staying in the league than just making it,” Fehoko told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “Everybody has a goal to make it to the NFL. Everybody wants to just make It, but the great ones that have played in this league for a long time don’t just make it, they stay at the top of their game. They’re dependable and reliable. To know that my foot is in the door now, to know that I gotta kick it up even another notch, I’m always up for the challenge because you know what, that’s the name of this game.
“There’s always gonna bring in new guys. They’re always gonna bring in younger guys to develop, guys like myself a year from now, two years from now. I know I gotta stay at the top of my game at all times.”
Fehoko is no stranger to big games, having played a vital role on LSU’s 15-0 national championship team last season. But Sunday was different. Fehoko made it to the league and wants to remain in it for years to come.
“It’s an NFL game, it’s a game under my belt. It kind of helps that they’re pumping crowd noise and stuff into the stadium so that’s always a positive but it was so surreal,” he said. “Heart was definitely pumping when I got out there for my first snap. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t nervous, it was just pumping like, ‘Wow, I’m really playing in the NFL.’ I texted my brother, VJ, before the game and I said, ‘Wow, some kids are gonna watch this Sunday morning at a home in Hawaii and is gonna see me or someone on my team and be like, ‘I wanna do that one day,’ because that’s what I was definitely doing when I was a kid.
“I was watching Sunday morning games and I was envisioning watching all of these guys play football and I was like, ‘I want to do that.’ It’s still a surreal feeling to me.”