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Theriot happy with new path

Into the night, Trevor Theriot sat at his computer desk poring over notes and 1,600 pages of an application to have a new medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Normally, many on a quest such as Theriot's would hire a law firm to take care of the laborious ordeal. But Theriot hasn't done things normally throughout his life. He usually dedicates hard work and throws all of himself into a task, just as he learned from Newport Harbor High football, and from his father, Brian.

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Theriot, once again, went to work, learning everything he possibly could about the medical device world.

"Just a crazy process," Theriot said. "My mind-set was to never quit until we got approved."

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Theriot had plenty at stake. Football dreams left on the wayside, he concentrated on his future, his wife and a baby boy on the way.

Theriot can only laugh at the result of his hard work on that FDA application for his medical device called Plasma Flow, which helps prevent blood clots. The FDA approval letter came earlier this year on April 1.

"I was like: 'Are you serious?'" he says.

But Theriot is no fool. He has seen his relatively new career start to take off, as Plasma Flow and the company, ManaMed, he partly owns, continues to thrive in the medical device industry.

Theriot can only continue to work. It's in his blood, his nature. Moments from the past clearly reveal he can attain success. And those moments also show his life was meant to be as such.

The Knee Injury

Most teammates at UCLA smiled when they saw Theriot back in his playing days, when he was known as "Moose," a nickname from when he starred at Harbor.

The other Bruins knew Theriot's story of how he came to UCLA as a walk-on, passing up other opportunities to shine at a small college. Theriot put his head down and went to work trying to become the Bruins' starting fullback.

By his redshirt junior year, he earned a full-ride scholarship and had been billed by many outlets as one of the top fullbacks in the nation.

But then at one practice all that work seemed to be for naught. It was during the third week of the season as UCLA prepared for Fresno State.

During a drill, Theriot's foot got caught in the grass and his right knee twisted awkwardly. Just like that, Theriot's anterior cruciate ligament blew out.

The dreams of helping produce big stats in then-offensive coordinator Norm Chow's system turned into a nightmare. Different goals were forced upon him as he made his way to a new path toward rehabilitation.

"That experience was definitely hard because you work so hard to get on the field and now you're getting your school paid for and then you have a devastating injury like that," Theriot said. "I was fortunate because at age 11 I went through a broken femur. I've dealt with setbacks and I was able to overcome that at UCLA with a positive outlook and a positive attitude."

After missing that redshirt junior season, Theriot came back to be the starting fullback for the Bruins in his senior year.

What's more, he met his future wife in rehab. He can laugh at that, too, because it certainly wasn't drug or alcohol rehab.

Back then, Theriot set his eyes on Noel Umphrey, a two-time national champion with the UCLA women's water polo team. Noel was also working her way back from an injury, a slap tear of her left shoulder.

"I told one of my buddies I was going to marry that girl," Theriot said. "After a game of rock, paper, scissors I won the first date. And, that was it."

Said Noel: "I was in sweats. I had just finished working out and was sweating. It's kind of flattering that he was into me before I was dressed for a date."

Plasma Flow

The fullback position is all but extinct in the NFL. Theriot learned quickly of his challenge of breaking into the NFL in 2010.

Maybe it was better this way. Theriot could rest knowing he would not have to deal with concussions. He remembers the horrific fact that former Atlanta Falcons fullback Bob Christian told him. Christian sustained 45 types of concussions in the NFL that forced him to retire, Theriot said in 2010.

Yes, Theriot was fine starting a new career. He found that through a fellow former Bruin, Chris Griffith, a UCLA placekicker and a walk-on who led Theriot into medical device sales.

"I wanted to take everything I learned through getting hurt and finding out about the medical world," Theriot said. "Going through what I went through as a patient I was able to tell a story."

Theriot began as a distributor, but said he found gaps in the business that made him eventually become a manufacturer.

He worried about people who suffered from blood clots. He thought of Plasma Flow, a product that could prevent blood clots.

"There are 300,000 people who die each year from a blood clot and our product can help diminish that drastically," Theriot said. "I like that we are truly helping patients."

Theriot has many people to thank for his rise on an entirely different field. He knows that he learned a great deal from his father, Brian, who excelled in track and field at Harbor and then on to UCLA.

Theriot also takes pride in his background from being part of the Long Grey Line. He was one of seven Sailors named the CIF Southern Section Division VI Offensive Player of the Year. He shared that honor in 2004.

"It's weird how my life has worked out," Theriot says. "I've been very lucky for how my life has been created. I'm very thankful. I know as long as you work hard and you're positive and you're nice to people, I think everything sets you in the right path for success."

Wyatt the Riot

Theriot and his wife Noel are very excited to welcome their baby son into their world in less than a month. They recently moved into a home in Newport Shores, near the beach. They know the baby, who will be Wyatt, will love it there.

"We're ready for him," Noel says. "We're just very excited for him to be here. We're happy to start a family together. We've been talking about it for years."

Theriot has a feeling his son will bring excitement in his own way, and has already nicknamed him, "Wyatt the Riot."

It's in his genes to become an athlete, but Noel says she'll be fine with whatever Wyatt chooses. Dad played and Grandpa Brian played football and was quick in the sprints in track. Mom starred in water polo and Grandpa Richard Umphrey toiled in the NFL as an offensive lineman.

"A lot of people say he's going to play sports," says Noel, who recently passed an exam to become a nurse and wants to work with children. "I'm going to raise him the way my dad raised me and let him choose. If he wants to play sports or do the arts that's fine. As long as he is happy and healthy and safe I'll let him choose what he wants to do. Sports are a very important part of life. It teaches you a lot about life lessons. But I'm not saying sports are very everything."

Whatever Wyatt chooses he can certainly look at his father for what it takes to thrive. Hard work.

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