Scouting the Vaitai Brothers

Last Friday night Sooners Illustrated was on hand to see Haltom take on Irving Nimitz in what would turn out to be a thriller. The Vaitai brothers all played a major role in this game. Check inside to see how the game turned out and a full scouting report on how the brothers played.

This game had the looks of a blowout with Nimitz winning 21-7 at the half while Haltom could not get out of its own way. The first three drives of the night ended in turnovers for Haltom inside the red zone. The first drive ended when they were unable to pick up a fourth and two with a full back dive inside the Nimitz 10-yard line. The second drive ended with an interception inside the Nimitz 20-yard line that was returned for a touchdown. And then Haltom fumbled on the handoff exchange inside the Nimitz one yard line. It just did not appear to be Haltom's night on offense.

However with less than two minutes to play and down by 13,  Haltom came storming back to pull off the stunning victory, scoring two touchdowns with in 32-seconds of each other while also recovering an onside kick.

Playing in this game were three offensive line prospects to watch for the 2012 recruiting class who also happen to be brothers. Scout.com 2012 Top 100 Four-star OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai also known as ‘Big V', William Vaitai also known as ‘Dub' and Kevin Vaitai also known as ‘Mila' man the left side of the offensive line for Haltom. Big V plays left tackle while Dub plays left guard and Kevin is the man in the middle at center. Haltom on the night had 348-total yards with 141-yards on the ground and 207-yards through the air.

 Halapoulivaati ‘Big V' Vaitai (2012 OT)

Strengths: Big V's arms are extremely long which he uses to his advantage to keep defenders at bay.  His athleticism and speed allow him to get to the second level in a hurry while run blocking. When he plays controlled and with leverage you almost always see his defender picking themselves up off the turf. Another good thing about Big V is that he is the obvious leader for the whole squad as he was seen all night pumping the crowd up and talking to his teammates during timeouts. He sustained what seemed to be a stinger just after halftime and was bent over in pain after coming off the field after each possession but finished the game strong which showed he will play through pain.

Need for improvement: At the moment Big V stands at about 6-foot-6 but only weighs around 255-pounds. He will obviously need to put on around 35-45 pounds before he steps on the field at the next level. He has some technique issues to work on in both run and pass blocking which is expected with only one year of experience at the position.

Overall: Big V also lined up at defensive end throughout the game and looked pretty good. He used his long arms to disrupt screen passes and was seen running down the line chasing the quarterback to the sideline which was impressive. Watching him at defensive end only shows you how athletic he really is but will also hurt him in the weight category. However, when I talked to him after the game I mentioned he will probably lose weight going both ways unless he is eating a lot and he said ‘I'm doing whatever to help the team'. That alone shows you the kind of team player he is.

With added weight, strength and better technique, Big V could be a dominating left tackle at the next level with the potential and tools he possesses. While obviously extremely raw at the moment, attending more camps in the summer will help him learn better his technique and to stay consistent play in and play out. Good thing is he still has plenty of time until he hits a college campus but it's easy to see why he is so highly regarded in the 2012 recruiting class.

William ‘Dub' Vaitai (2012 OL)

Strengths: Dub's strengths at the moment are his size and strength. He is a road grader at 6-foot-2 and 298-pounds. It's evident how strong his legs are when watching him drive defenders to the ground. William does a good job chopping his feet with his butt low while in pass protection. When he plays with leverage he can man handle defensive lineman. When Williams gets his hands on you with his legs as big and strong as they are it's not an easy task for defenders to get off his block to make the tackle. At the moment William is the all around strongest brother of the trio and its' evident when watching him play after play. He also moves well for a kid his size. Dub has played guard his entire grade school career so he has quite a bit of experience at the position.

Needs for improvement: At 298-pounds he must do a good job to not put on a lot more weight because it could affect his stamina and his movement on the field. He can tend to get lazy when tired which is obvious. It also couldn't hurt if he added a few inches to his 6-foot-2 frame as he seems to be closer to 6-foot-1 rather than 6-foot-3.

Overall: Dub is extremely thick and not easy for defensive tackles to move or get around at this level. Especially when he gets his hands on you, you normally are stopped in your tracks. With Dub only being a junior he still has time to get taller and to shed some excess weight. Like Big V attending more camps in the summer will only help his technique and footwork. By the time his senior year rolls around I fully expect Dub to be a known commodity in the Big 12 region at the offensive guard position.

Kevin ‘Mila' Vaitai (2012 OL) -

Strengths:  Even though Kevin has only been playing center for four games now I have heard that he may be the best pass blocker on his team. He was moved to center at the beginning of the season and has done a terrific job taking control of the line. He does a good job when having a nose guard lined up right over top of him. When snapping the ball he is quick to get his hands on the defender and was mostly seen stone walling him at the line of scrimmage. Like William, Kevin is really thick in the lower body but is solid muscle in the upper body as well.

Needs for improvement: Kevin size is the main thing that is holding him back right now. At the moment he stands at about 6-foot-1 and 270-pounds. If he can grow another couple of inches it would definitely help on the recruiting side of things for him.

Overall: During the game Kevin also was sent in at defensive tackle and did a nice job getting into the backfield. He did a good job splitting double teams and getting into the backfield and also held his own when double teamed at the nose guard position displaying the strength he has. With added height and weight Kevin has the potential to continue playing the center position at the next level in my opinion which is where I believe his career will continue at the next level. Doing as well as he has done while only playing the position for four games is impressive. However, funny thing is while attending the Oklahoma summer camp this past summer Coach Jackie Shipp told Kevin he would be recruited to play defensive tackle at the next level. Time will tell but Kevin shows the skills to play at the D1 level regardless of position.

 


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