We should’ve known.
Looking back, why were we so surprised by what was in store for him?
Jared Tevis’ performance in Canyon del Oro’s semifinal game and championship game as a senior in 2009 foretold the story of a person who would go on to make believers of his football skills when he played at Arizona after walking on to the program right before the fall semester of his freshman year in 2009-10.
In the 4A semifinal win over Cienega in 2009, Tevis scored four touchdowns on catches of 75 and 59 yards, a 55-yard punt return and a 26-yard interception return.
A week later in the championship victory over Sabino — capping a 14-0 season in Dustin Peace’s first season as head coach — the “undersized” (at least to college recruiters) 5-foot-10 and 170-pound Tevis had a forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception.
“I tell recruiters they’re missing something; size isn’t everything,” Peace was quoted as saying by the Arizona Daily Star in 2009. “Jared is a 4.1 student, he’s a team captain, he does everything asked and he does it well. He listens, he comprehends, he has a high motor. He’s the type of guy you want on your team.”
Peace now has 29 seniors who embody those same characteristics and the result is another unbeaten season heading into Friday’s 4A state championship game against Yuma Catholic.
The No. 2 Dorados (13-0) and top-seeded Shamrocks (13-0) will face each other at 4 p.m. at Arizona State’s Mountain America Stadium. Each team will attempt to win its fourth state championship in school history.
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Tevis will watch the live stream of the game at his Portland, Ore., home after spending the earlier part of his day working as a financial advisor for Eagles Strategies LLC & Agent, a branch of New York Life Insurance Co.
“If my clients call, I’ll have to get back to them a couple of hours later,” Tevis said with a laugh. “I’ll be watching. I was texting Coach Peace yesterday and he told me where we could stream it at and all that fun stuff.
“So I’ll be tuning in and rooting these guys on. I know regardless they’re gonna leave it all out there. I hope that comes out in their favor.”
Tevis could write a book on having challenges come out in his favor in grand fashion.
Judging from his background of proving himself, nobody should be awestruck that Tevis is now a successful businessman in Oregon, where his wife Katie is from. Also an Arizona grad, she works at the Nike Headquarters at Beaverton, Ore.
We saw this high-level of success for Tevis coming.
He was a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic First Team selection. He earned an undergraduate degree in finance with a GPA of 3.28 in May 2014.
“I actually finished my master’s in finance up here at the University of Portland and started my career building, business and financial planning and advisory services,” Tevis said. “So that’s what I do up here, almost been in the business about nine years now helping professionals, families and small business owners, basically planning for retirement, manage and invest their assets, and put financial planning in place.”
Tevis tries to return to Tucson often, at least once a year to catch an Arizona game and a CDO game if the schedule allows.
He was in attendance for CDO’s homecoming game on Oct. 27 when the Dorados beat Sahuaro 42-0. The following day, he was at Arizona Stadium taking in the Wildcats’ 27-24 win over Oregon State.
He stood on the sideline with the players and coaches of CDO and Arizona in those games.
“Jared Tevis is a CDO legend,” Peace mentioned this week. “He will go down as one of the greatest leaders/players we have ever had at CDO. He has great pride in everything he does.”
Peace added that he took pride in “Watching him develop from being an overlooked player for the Cats to becoming a three-year starter and leading the Cats to the Fiesta Bowl.”
“His highlight tapes in in high school and college are always the most requested by our players to watch,” Peace continued. “I still remember the semifinal game versus Cienega where he scored four touchdowns in the third quarter.
“On top of all that, he is an amazing person. He always gets the best out of those around him. I was so happy to have him come out to visit the week he came down this year.”
Whenever Tevis returns to his roots at CDO he is often reminded about how the experience winning a state title with the Dorados in 2009 could have capped his football career.
Not even NAU offered him a scholarship.
“There was a time that I thought I’ll just focus on academics,” he said. “And then a walk-on opportunity came about. My brother (Aaron, also a CDO grad) was playing at Boise State. Arizona in town showed interest in me as a preferred walk-on.
“I was pretty close to considering going up to Boise State. There was also a time Coach Nugent, I think his first year or second year at Pima along with Brandon Sanders, recruiting coordinator at Arizona and Desert Swarm guy, a heck of a safety … we had some good conversations about going to Pima and playing for a year and trying to get the scholarship to Arizona, which I was very close to pull the trigger on.”
Tevis decided to attend Arizona as a preferred walk-on, joining CDO teammate Josh Robbins, and later Carey, there.
His future with Arizona was uncertain after Mike Stoops was let go in 2011. Rich Rodriguez arrived in 2012, and much to Tevis’ benefit, the former West Virginia and Michigan coach opened all positions in spring practice that year.
“I was just on the brink, I think, of earning a scholarship playing on special teams under Coach Stoops,” Tevis said. “And when he got let go, the wind was kind of out of my sail, because I was expecting a scholarship, hopefully in the next couple of years. And now I had to start over again.”
Rodriguez offered Tevis a scholarship coming out of spring practice in 2012.
“I just worked my tail off to make it happen and that’s how it ended up working out,” Tevis said. “It was actually right after spring ball Coach Rod gave me a scholarship and I was able to start my sophomore, junior and senior year and be a defensive captain there my senior year. I played with a ton of good teammates and a ton of good coaches.”
He evolved into a two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection in 2013 and 2014.
He complemented Scooby Wright’s toughness on defense in 2014, when Arizona won the Pac-12 South championship, with some hard-hitting grit of his own.
CDO has a lot of Jared Tevis-type players on their roster with toughness, leadership skills, intelligence and skill.
Given that, it’s no wonder the Dorados are a game away from winning another state championship for Peace and his staff that has mostly been intact since the 2009 title.
“I’m excited for these these young men,” Tevis said about CDO. “I hope they play their their tails off and best of luck to them (Friday) to go give us another one for the green and gold.
“Same thing to the U of A in the bowl game. I think we have a great foundation running there and I think they’re gonna give wherever they play — hopefully it is the Alamo bowl, if not better — I think they’re gonna give them hell.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.