Player of the Week #2: Soma Vainuku USC

You won’t find Soma Vainuku on many All American teams or probably not on  any of them. But, the 6 foot, 265 pound Vainuku is my kind of player.


He has plenty of experience as a blocking Fullback and he is a truly outstanding blocker. Great thing about Vainuku is that he is pretty much great at everything on the football field and gives his all on every play.

For a 265 pound Fullback Soma has excellent speed as evidenced by his 52 yard TD run against Colorado. I do realize that Colorado has been down for a while, but he showed great speed.

He is also an excellent receiver having 17 catches out of the backfield the last 2 seasons.


Not only is Soma Vainuku an outstanding blocking Fullback that has breakaway speed and great hands, but he is an outstanding special teams player.

He’s had 19 special teams tackles to go along with everything else he has done. Plus, 2 punt returns and 3 blocked punts and one of those was for a safety.


Vainuku has started 7 games so far  over the length of  his career, but most offenses rarely use a Fullback anymore.


He is a cousin to former USC All American LB and current Cincinnati LB, Ray Maualuga.


Vainuku wasn’t that highly recruited coming out of high school. Fullbacks tend to not be these days with even the best of them being rated a  3 star.

Vainuku was also a 3 star out of Eureka, California. Rated ahead of him on the list was Zach Zwinak who has  been a surprising star at Running Back for Penn State, and Carl Bradford that went to Arizona State and was just drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 121st pick. Bradford moved to OLB/DE at Arizona State and was a star.


Vainuku had trouble qualifying at USC and sat out a year in 2010. Then, he redshirted in 2011 and has played the last 2 seasons.


Soma Vainuku rushed for 1500 yards and 27 TDs as a sophomore in high school. He only had 800 yards his junior season. But, really exploded his senior year and rushed for 2,202 yards and 38 TDs while leading his team to the title.


The only reason why Soma Vainuku wasn’t rated more highly is because he plays Fullback and offenses have gone away from the Fullback position but this guy is tough as nails and a great team player.


Vainuku wears #31 for the Trojans and if you get a chance to watch USC play next season keep your eyes searching for that jersey number. He is a fun player to watch at Fullback or on special teams.

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