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Fall camp Q&A with Cougar defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao

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Destiny Vaeao is settling in nicely into what looks to be a permanent home at defensive end. We talked to Destiny a little about how he likes the stability at end and the importance of football in American Samoa.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

FROM LEWISTON -- Destiny Vaeao seems to have locked down the No. 1 starting spot at defensive end after having a big fall camp so far. We talked to Destiny for a minute about his role with the team and football in American Samoa. We also got a word in with his defensive line coach, Joe Salave'a

CougCenter: Destiny, you came on as a true freshman. This is your third year here. What are some of the changes you have seen going into this camp compared to your first year here?

Vaeao: My first year was all a learning process. I was trying to get used to adversity and everything. Last year I was trying to dial in and everything so this year is a big difference. Learning the system a lot.

CougCenter: What are some of the things coaches are pushing you on to improve your game?

Vaeao: Just continue to work hard and push the limit.

CougCenter: You played a little bit at the BUCK last year. Now they have you lining up at defensive end. Can you talk about that change?

Vaeao: It's a big difference. Playing BUCK for the first time last year was a big transition from a (defensive end) to a linebacker. A lot of BUCK is to go in coverage and all that, but now moving back to D-line is a big difference. I just put my hand down and go get the QB.

CougCenter: Is getting in a three or four-point stance more of what you like to do than have to drop back?

Vaeao: It's natural when I put my hands down compared to just stand up.

CougCenter: You're one of our football players that came from American Samoa. Talk to us about football there.

Vaeao: Football is big down there. That's the only way for kids back home to transition and come out from the island and come to the mainland. That's a big transition to get a good education and just play ball and get to the next level.

CougCenter: When did you start playing football?

Vaeao: I played in high school. That's the first time I played football.

We also had a chance to talk to Coach Joe Salave'a about Vaeao's progress as a player.

CougCenter: Can you talk a little bit about Destiny? How do you think he's developing?

Salave'a: He's coming along. I think he's a kid with a tremendous glass ceiling in what he can become and I think he is finally finding a niche at the defensive end spot. But he is a kid with a lot more tangibles and we're going to be able to utilize that in the packages in our defense.