Bojay Filimoeatu - pronounced BO-jay FEE-lee-moy-ah-too - joins the Raiders after being out of football last season. The 6-1, 258-pound linebacker spent last year recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his knee that stalled his pro career just as it was supposed to be getting off the ground.
Following his 2012 senior season, he played in the Casino Del Sol College All Star Game where he was to showcase his talent to NFL scouts. He suffered the knee injury in that game and just like that, his dreams of a pro career would have to be put on hold a year.
His football career began at Mt San Antonio Community College in Southern California where he was named All-America Community College Football Team Defensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team All-American. He also led Mt San Antonio to its second-consecutive state and Nathional College title where he was named Defensive MVP.
As the 36th ranked junior college player in the nation, Filimoeatu transferred to Utah State where he was an instant starting outside linebacker for the Aggies. He never missed a start over 26 games totaling 112 tackles (48-solo), 20 tackles for loss, and 8.0 sacks over two seasons.
As a senior in 2012, he started all 13 games and finished with 71 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 5.0 sacks. He also had a team leading 11 quarterback hurries. That season the Utah State defense was ranked in the top 15 in the country in run defense, allowing less than three yards per carry (2.9). They would go on to rout Toledo 35-19 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Due to missing out on all the draft preparation in 2013, Filimoeatu had his pro day this off-season. He was able to spend the time preparing to make a strong impression on scouts at the Utah State pro day.
He certainly made an impression in one particular workout when he lifted the 225-pound bench press 33 times. That would have blown away all other linebackers at the combine and been good for fourth overall at any position. But just so you don't think he is just strong, he showed some decent speed with a 4.72 40-yard dash.
That pro day, along with his stats at Utah State were enough for the Raiders to give him a look as a tryout player. He came in for rookie minicamp along with several other tryout players and earned a spot on the Raiders off-season roster. For reference, this is how Matt McGloin, Chance Casey, Greg Jenkins, and Ryan Robinson all got on the team last year. So it means something to get through that gauntlet. In some ways it means more than being a priority free agent.