NORMAN — Months after signing day, Fullerton College offensive lineman Tony Feo wasn't too worried that he still hadn't found a football home after his junior college career was over.
Feo was used to making late moves, from taking up football as a freshman in high school to deciding where to play in junior college.
Everything appears to have worked out fantastically for the 6-foot-4, 285-pound guard who concluded a whirlwind recruitment by Oklahoma in early May by signing with the Sooners.
It was OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell who spotted Feo while on a recruiting trip to California well after signing day.
With just one Division I offer — from North Carolina State — Feo was well under the radar. But when Norvell saw his size and found out he was available, he extended an offer by the time he left Fullerton.
The weekend after the offer, Feo visited Norman and met new Sooners offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. Two days after returning from the visit, Feo signed.
“I liked everything I saw here,” Feo said. “My host, Nila (Kasitati) took care of me real well. I liked the program and the tradition of winning, and I liked how I fit in here.”
Feo could fit into the rotation soon on an offensive line that needs depth.
“The opportunity is there for sure,” Feo said. “I understood why they brought me here, but they also told me there would be some competition. That's something I really liked. I wanted to earn a spot and be a part of a good program.”
While the on-field fit was a big part of his decision to come to Norman, there was plenty going on off the field that made it the right fit as well.
Feo was born in Pago Pago, American Samoa, after his family had moved over from Tuvalu, a tiny island nation between Hawaii and Australia.
At 10, he moved to Hawaii. A few years later, the family moved to the Seattle area, settling in the suburb of Renton.
Feo didn't know anything about football until he arrived in Hawaii. He didn't play at all until he was a freshman in Renton.
His older brother, Etu, had started playing the sport, and Tony figured he might as well take up the sport as well to get out of the house.
“In my family, if you didn't do anything productive outside of the house, you were to stay at home and do chores,” Tony said. “I wanted to play football so I could stay out and basically have some free time to hang out and just be away from home.”
Football had led Etu to play at Butte College in northern California and then to Northwestern Oklahoma State. Etu is now working in Elk City.
His older brother said Tony doesn't realize it but he's becoming a shining hope not only to his family, including his younger siblings, but to his homeland.
“There a lot of Samoan kids playing in the NFL, but he's the first Tuvaluan kid to play football at this level,” Etu said. “For him to make it to this level, it's big. Everybody looks up to him.”
Etu has an oil field job, finishing up school and hoping for a professional football tryout or to join in a pro day workout at a school.
For Tony, having his brother close by is a safety net being in an unfamiliar place.
“It was just amazing how everything came together,” Tony said. “I wasn't really getting a bunch of offers and then everything starts happening real fast. I was speechless.”