The future of Utah’s secondary, meet strong safety Sione Vaki
As Utah’s freshmen continue to impress and prove themselves as one of the most talented classes to ever join the program, there are several members from the class of 2022 who are demonstrating a lot of promise behind the scenes. While players like Jaylon Glover and Lander Barton are getting some early opportunities and experience on the field, individuals like Sione Vaki are busy putting in the work on the practice field in anticipation for opportunities in the future.
A three star recruit from Antioch, CA, Sione Vaki was a talented and physical athlete out of high school. During his senior year, Vaki recorded 73 total tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. For his efforts, Vaki was the Bay Valley Athletic League MVP as a senior in 2018.
Following a two-year church mission, Vaki is now with the program and learning a lot as he runs with the twos behind Cole Bishop and RJ Hubert. Additionally, according to sources within the program, Vaki looks incredible and is demonstrating a lot of potential.
“Things have been going well. I’ve been learning learning a lot. I’m running with the twos right now so I’m learning from great examples in Cole Bishop and RJ Hubert. There’s a lot to learn definitely in being a starter here,” Vaki said.
Through the first two games, Vaki was able to see action on special teams against Florida and had a few reps in the secondary against SUU. From those experiences, the young safety has been absorbing everything he can.
“Just being on the SEC stage, they are real competitors and thats what we are here for. We are here to compete so, just playing fast, physical, smart football,” He said.
“[SUU] was my first actual college experience being on the field. Being able to play some defense, it was fun. I was just happy to be out there…not a lot of pressure but just a great experience to go out there and hit some people.”
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Having only participated in two games, Vaki hasn’t had the opportunity yet to really demonstrate his skills. However, when you watch his high school tape, it’s obvious why Utah brought him in.
Defensively, Vaki is a ballhawk and constantly puts himself in situations to make plays. Whether he’s reading the eyes of the quarterback, sticking to receivers, or stepping up on run plays, Vaki is an intelligent defender with a nose for the football. Additionally, as you’d expect from a strong safety, Vaki is a punishing tackler who can consistently stop ball carriers and even create turnovers.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Vaki hopes to contribute in whatever way he can and whenever his name is called. As for the future, Vaki is learning what it takes to be a great defender and is determined to be one of the greatest to ever defend Utah’s secondary.
“I just want to get twenty-two percent better every day,” Vaki said. “I want to be one of the greatest Utes to ever come out of here. I love this place and will give it my all, showing that I can be one of the greats here.”
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