Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 12/13/12
TUCSON, Ariz. He looks likes your average paper boy -- the mild-mannered boy-next-door type. Until you put him in a helmet and pads. From Tonka truck to Mack Truck. The transformation is tremendous. Yes, said Jared Tevis, Arizona's 5-foot-10ish, 195-pound safety, people look at me and at first glance, you wouldnt think Id be where I am at. But hes here and one of the many Tucsonans on Arizonas roster getting ready to play in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl vs. Nevada on Saturday. Growing up in Tucson, he remembers watching a few bowl games Arizona participated in, most recently Arizonas not-so-memorable 33-0 loss to Nebraska in San Diego three years ago. Arizona hasnt won a bowl game in four years. They stayed home for the holidays last year after a 4-8 season. We have big expectations for Saturday, Tevis said. It feels good to be playing during the holiday season. We missed that last year. Its good to be back, and Im glad to be here. "Here" is at the center of Jeff Casteel's 3-3-5 defense. With scholarship in hand -- having earned one after impressing Rich Rodriguez and his new coaching staff during spring drills. It almost never happened. Tevis, a standout at Canyon Del Oro High (Ka'Deem Carey's alma mater), was a player without a home until getting a call from former Arizona coach Mike Stoops a month before his freshman year, saying there was a walk-on spot with his name on it. He was not going to play football, couldnt even get a walk-on for NAU (Northern Arizona), said Tevis' high school coach, Dustin Peace. Jucos offered him, but all of sudden Arizona called and he took advantage. Peace knew that all Tevis had to do was get a foot in the door and hed do the rest. Tevis has instincts and intangibles you cant teach. Hes a gamer and people are starting to see that," Peace said. "He does things that dont come up on tape. Instinctively he does things that you cant coach. He just has it. Hes a difference maker. The underdog has turned into a Big Dawg. Thats what has always driven me, Tevis said. I just say, Come watch me play, and maybe Ill change your mind. Maybe? How about definitely? Tevis success is no surprise to his former high school teammate, All-America running back Carey. Tevis is a hard-nosed football player and gives it everything he (has) every time he plays, Carey said. Thats why I like Tevis. Thats why I think we connect. You never have to worry about him. Carey said Tevis is so smart in the game of football, hes the coaches best friend. He was the king of the high school because everyone loved him, Carey said. He was the dude. As part of Arizonas defense, hes been more than a dude. Hes been a man, starting 10 games as the teams bandit safety, compiling 72 tackles -- fourth among all players. He has two interceptions, six pass breakups and has forced three fumbles. And much of his success came after suffering a horrible looking ankle sprain against Oregon State in late September that cost him to miss two games and most of a third. Well, he was playing really, really well, Rodriguez said of Tevis. I think the first couple of weeks back, he just kind of fought through it a little bit, but he's healthy now. He's a good football player, a really good football player. Tevis never doubted he would return. It was just a matter of time," he said. "I was just hoping to get back as soon as possible. Whether to deliver a ball-separating hit, or stop for the next day's news.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady would be 'very jealous' if Manning wins Super Bowl

John Elway takes swipe at John Fox

Jets DT: I won't watch a Super Bowl 'until I play in one'

Hall of Fame coach: Stephen Curry is the best of all time

Reggie Bush on NFL future: ‘I’m not retiring’

Derek Fisher blasts Rondo over triangle offense criticism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Marshawn Lynch hasn't spent any playing money

Ex-King says he could do 'much better job' than George Karl

Trainer thought Thomas Davis would not play in Super Bowl

Todd Gurley named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Durant, Westbrook on loss to Warriors: We're not scared

Report: Eagles interested in bringing back Nick Foles

WATCH: Tom Brady booed during Super Bowl 50 MVP ceremony

Cam Newton's cleats have 'MVP' and stats written on them

Concession prices incredibly high at Super Bowl 50

Fan at Super Bowl 50 wears awesome dual-team jersey

Skip Bayless whiffed badly on Cam Newton prediction

Stephen Curry to serve as guest drummer for Panthers

Charlie Sheen tweets advice for Johnny Manziel

Cardale Jones predicts he will play in Super Bowl

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Marcin Gortat fires back at critic on Twitter

WATCH: Kerr told Warriors he was happy to have close game

Broncos could have tough decision with franchise tag

WATCH: Steph Curry does 'Dab' on court on eve of Super Bowl

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker