According to CF.C, Joe Salave'a is already paying off. The new WSU defensive line coach, and ambassador to the islands of Hawai'i and American Samoa, has helped the Cougs land Destiny Vaeao. Vaeao plays both TE and DE, but he'll be playing defense for the Cougs.
Also, his name is Destiny, which is pretty amazing.
"Fool me once..." RT @KyleRancourt: I'm kinda surprised Destiny Vaeao didn't wind up at UTEP.— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) January 28, 2012
First, his video lists him as a TE/K. I can honestly say that's the first time I've ever seen that combination. One time I was playing NCAA '09 and I couldn't get a punter to commit. I didn't want to waste a valuable spot on a walk-on that was probably only rated as a 40 anyway, so during the "Change Positions" portion of the off-season in Dynasty Mode, I switched a 308 pound DT to punter. I never punted anyway, and if I needed to, my kicker would just do it. But the game wanted a player listed as a punter. I'm fairly sure this is the same exact thing going on.
Vaeao is the first player to play for Wazzu from American Samoa that I can remember. I know we've had several Samoan players, and players from Hawai'i, but I can't find anything (Scout's classes go back to 2002) that says we landed a kid from the island itself. That's a pretty big deal.
Mark already talked about Salave'a, and linked to a 60 Minutes piece on American Samoa. It's pretty good, if you haven't already seen it.
Vaeao is a pretty big dude, and he's still growing. At almost 6'4, 255 lbs, he can add some weight and play both DT and DE in the Cougars new defense. His highlights in the above video don't show him playing DE, but they do show a ridiculous block at the 1:44 mark. Seriously, it was one of those "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" moments where I don't realize how loud I just yelled and now my neighbors hate me. This also happened when Marquess Wilson caught the TD against Colorado.
Vaeao is raw, let's not kid ourselves here. He's a big time athlete, and I'm excited to have him (and possibly a new found pipeline to Samoa) on board, but let's take a deep breath. I've already seen some people on the interwebs talking about how he can start next year.
Whoa. Easy tiger. Let's have some realistic expectations for the kid. I think once he dedicates himself to defense, he'll be a pretty good player. I don't, however, think that happens right away. I think he's a solid player for a few years and does well as an upper classman. Kind of like how it's supposed to happen, right? This whole players-aren't-supposed-to-all-start-as-Freshman thing is weird to me.
Nice pick up, but let's not get too carried away. The kid has a lot of work to do.
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