As star players continue to opt out of the 2020 college football season, the family of star Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell is in wait-and-see mode.
Sewell enters the 2020 campaign as a consensus All-American and is considered a lock to be drafted in the top 10 come the 2021 NFL Draft. Standouts like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau, both of whom are considered likely top 10 picks, choose to focus on their NFL futures in recent days. But the Sewell family is in no rush to alter the status quo.
“We’re going to sit back as we’re doing now and continue training as if the season is going on and wait until a decision is made,” Sewell’s father, Gabriel, told 247Sports. “It’s business as usual until something definite comes out. Then you actually have a decision to make.”
“Definite” would be defined as the season being canceled, pushed to the spring or if serious health concerns pop up for Penei or his two college football-playing brothers. Nephi, the oldest of the trio, is a likely starting safety for Utah. Noah, a five-star linebacker in the 2020 class, is set to play with Penei this season in Eugene.
Having Peneii and Noah play a season together is a huge thing for the family.
“It’s kind of been a family dream,” Gabriel said.
However, there are considerations to be made for any elite prospect in Penei’s position. Gabriel admits there is some uncertainty for he and his wife, Arlene, as their sons prep for a season unlike any other. Given Penei’s status as a no-doubt NFL prospect, he would have options if he chose to skip. For now, though, Gabriel is happy with the way Oregon and Utah have handled safety measures.
“We are happy totally as parents about how are sons are being cared for at Oregon and how our son is being treated at Utah,” Gabriel said. “It’s business as usual until a decision is made one way or another or some more concrete information is given. We’re not going to try and guess too far ahead with what is or what isn’t.”
Things can always change, and Gabriel pointed out they seem to every day during this pandemic. But Penei is currently focused on playing the 2020 season with Oregon and leading the Ducks to the College Football Playoff.
“It’s kind of business as usual,” Gabriel said.
Penei finished as a consensus All-American in 2019 as a sophomore. He enters the 2020 season as the No. 2 overall player in college football, according to 247Sports’ top 50 players list. Sewell slotted as the second overall pick in 247Sports national analyst Charles Power’s most recent NFL mock draft.
Oregon debuted Thursday as the No. 9 in the preseason Coaches Poll. The Ducks are looking to win back-to-back Pac-12 championships for the first time since 2009 and 2010.