Sammis Reyes
Reyes with Washington in 2021
No. 80 – Washington Football Team
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1995-10-19) October 19, 1995 (age 26)
Talcahuano, Biobío, Chile
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:North Broward (Coconut Creek, Florida)
College:
Undrafted:2019
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Sammis Daniel Reyes Martel (born October 19, 1995) is a Chilean professional gridiron football tight end for the Washington Football Team of the National Football League (NFL). The first Chilean-born NFL player, he grew up playing basketball as a youth member of the Chilean national basketball team and moved to the United States after receiving an athletic scholarship at age 14. Reyes played college basketball at Hawaii, Palm Beach State, Tulane, and Loyola–New Orleans, also graduating with a Master of Business Administration degree with the latter, prior to switching to football in 2020.

Career

Basketball

Sammis Daniel Reyes Martel was born in Talcahuano, a port city in the Greater Concepción metropolitan area of Chile, on October 19, 1995.[1][2] His family moved to Santiago shortly after, where Reyes grew up playing soccer and basketball with aspirations to play in the NBA.[1][3][4] At the age of nine he joined the Boston College Sports Club, a member of the Liga Nacional de Básquetbol de Chile, prior to being recruited to join the Chilean national basketball team two years later.[5] He was a member of the Boston College team that were runners-up of the 2014 Campioni del Domani, a basketball tournament in Chile for players aged 19 and under.[5]

While on a US tour with the Chilean national team in 2010, Reyes was scouted by American recruiters and offered a scholarship to attend Westlake Prep, a school in the Miami metropolitan area.[5] He accepted and left Chile by himself at age 14 to attend the following year.[1][6] He arrived knowing almost no English and had to quickly learn it, which he did through exposure from film and music.[1][7] During this time he met and befriended Alex Rifkind, the son of music entrepreneur Steve Rifkind, while playing together in a Amateur Athletic Union basketball circuit. Reyes eventually moved in with the Rifkinds and transferred to North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Florida, after briefly attending Saint Andrews School in Boca Raton due to Westlake Prep shutting down.[1][2]

Reyes signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball at the University of Hawaii in 2014, but suffered a hand injury while practicing with them that forced him to miss his freshman season.[8][9] Later feeling homesick and disapproving with the school's decision to fire head coach Gib Arnold mid-season, he dropped out and returned to Florida to recover from his injuries.[1][9] Reyes then attended a semester at Palm Beach State College and played with their basketball team before transferring to Tulane University in 2016.[10] He spent two seasons with the Tulane Green Wave but played in just two games in 2017 after opting-out due to being unhappy with his playing time.[11] Reyes graduated from Tulane's Freeman School of Business with a degree in business management before playing his final year of collegiate eligibility for the Loyola Wolf Pack at Loyola University New Orleans in 2018, where he also graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree.[11][12] In addition to college basketball, he still participated with the Chilean national team in international events such as the 2011 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship and the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers.[13] He primarily played the power forward position throughout his basketball career.

American football

Reyes during football practice in 2021
Reyes during football practice in 2021
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 538 260 lb
(118 kg)
4.65 s 40 in
(1.02 m)
10 ft 5 in
(3.18 m)
31 reps
All values from the University of Florida's Pro Day[14]

After Chile failed to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Reyes ended his basketball career and began working as a trainer for other players in the sport until social distancing regulations arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 prevented him from continuing.[1][15] He then worked as a driver for DoorDash before deciding to become a professional American football player.[1][15] Reyes had been advised by several teammates and coaches to play the sport since first arriving in the United States, with him only trying it out for a week in high school before stopping as he believed the higher risk of injury would hinder his chances at making an NBA roster.[1][2]

Despite knowing nearly nothing about football, Reyes applied for and was accepted into the National Football League's (NFL) International Player Pathway Program (IPPP) as a tight end prospect. He spent 10 weeks training and learning the sport at IMG Academy in Bradenton before participating alongside other IPPP players at the University of Florida's Pro Day on March 31, 2021.[1][7] He received interest from several NFL teams there due to his athletic performance before accepting a three-year contract from the Washington Football Team on April 13, 2021, citing his residency in the Washington metropolitan area and his fit with the team's culture.[1][2][7][16] Reyes became the first Chilean-born player in the NFL upon the signing.[17] He was also selected by the Toronto Argonauts in the fourth round (34th overall) of the 2021 CFL Global Draft that took place on April 15, 2021.[18]

Reyes made his professional debut against the New Orleans Saints in October 2021, where he played a limited number of snaps on special teams.[19][20]

Personal life

Reyes appeared in a 2021 Chilean advertisement for Pepsi Zero.[21]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bishop, Greg (August 4, 2021). "Sammis Reyes and the Path Never Taken". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on August 4, 2021. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Keim, John (July 23, 2021). "From Chile to the NFL: Sammis Reyes' past prepares him for new challenge with Washington". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  3. ^ Lichtenstein, Adam (January 15, 2021). "From Chile to North Broward Prep basketball to NFL? Reyes gets pro football shot via international program". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Lichtenstein, Adam (April 13, 2021). "North Broward Prep alum Sammis Reyes signs with Washington Football Team". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Aguirre Diez, Diego (April 17, 2021). "Un viaje a los inicios de Sammis Reyes, el chileno que llegó a la NFL". El Mercurio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on June 12, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  6. ^ Lingebach, Chris; Paulsen, Grant; Rouhier, Danny (April 21, 2021). "From day-old donuts and canned beans to the NFL: The unbelievable Sammis Reyes story". Audacy.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Hailey, Peter (April 14, 2021). "Reyes has hooped and driven for DoorDash. Next up: The NFL". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Morinaga, Dayton (May 21, 2014). "It's official: Reyes signs with Hawai'i". WarriorsInsider.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Phillips, Scott (December 15, 2014). "Hawaii freshman will transfer out of the program". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Burke, Peter (April 14, 2021). "Ex-Palm Beach State basketball player signs with NFL team". WFLX.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Gibson, Rosha'e (September 25, 2018). "Wolf Pack adds veteran presence to team with Reyes". The Maroon. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  12. ^ "Sammis Reyes - LinkedIn profile". LinkedIn.
  13. ^ "Sammis Reyes Reflects on Chilean National Basketball Team Experience". tulanegreenwave.com. October 5, 2017. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Lemoncelli, Jenna (April 13, 2021). "Washington signs Chilean basketball star Sammis Reyes after freakish pro day workout". New York Post. Archived from the original on April 13, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Whyno, Stephen (August 4, 2021). "DoorDash to the NFL: How 2 Washington players made ends meet". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
  16. ^ Fortier, Sam (April 13, 2021). "Washington signs Chilean tight end Sammis Reyes, a former college basketball player". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 8, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  17. ^ Selby, Zach (September 20, 2021). "WFT Daily: Sammis Reyes 'Opening Up Doors' As First Chilean-Born Player In NFL History". WashingtonFootball.com. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  18. ^ Hogan, Mike (April 15, 2021). "Hogan: Argos thrilled with results of the Global Draft". argonauts.ca. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  19. ^ Whyno, Stephen. "Washington Football Team's Sammis Reyes set to be 1st Chilean to play in NFL game". WJLA.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  20. ^ RotoWire Staff. "Football Team's Sammis Reyes: Questionable for Week 6". CBS Sports. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  21. ^ "Doble debut del deportista chileno Sammis Reyes: en la NFL y ahora rostro de Pepsi Zero". CCU.CL (in Spanish). November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021.