The Washington Redskins have given defensive lineman Isaako Aaitui another chance to play football.
Aaitui, signed to the practice squad today, is a native of Pago Pago, American Samoa and graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), playing all four years for the Rebels after redshirting in 2006.
The 6-foot-3, 315 pounder has only made three tackles in his professional career — all coming in 2013 — since being starting his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2011.
He’s had brief stints with the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Dolphins again.
In 2012, his season was wiped away after tearing his ACL and MCL.
This past April, Aaitui went back to his school and home in Samoa as part of the NFL Players Tour to run football camps for youth. He helped with a foundation there to keep students active to fight diabetes and other health issues, as well as get them engaged with the sport.
“Just to see the faces and the smiles of the students and the kids [made me] speechless,” Aaitui said of the clinics. “I think if everybody can have the will to be successful, there’s always a way.”
Aaitui has an incredible backstory. He only played a year of football in high school and had never lifted bench pressed before in his life. He weighed 220 pounds. Then he came to the United States.
After one year using UNLV’s weight program, he had bulked up to 290 pounds, learned to speak English, and became an integral part of the Rebels defense. With two games left in the year, he’s hoping to make an impression while with his new teammates.
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