Comments about ‘Utah Utes football: Tauni Vakapuna moving up the running back depth chart despite setbacks’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 18 2011 9:00 p.m. MDT

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Irvine, CA

What a character. What a smart young man to make such a great decision.

I, for one, wish Vakapuna will have a successful season.

Football aside, he is a man --man enough to give up anything for his mother.

He is a Utes!!!

Mid-Major Cougars
San Diego, CA

Such a smart young man.

Typical Ute!

Veritas Aequitas
Fruit Heights, UT

Looking forward to watching the young man play, and best wishes.

Here's hoping that watching you play helps your family heal.

Classless Ute Fan
Magna, UT

Actually, I liked Vakapuna last year. It is unfortunate that his mother had health issues. Of course, he made the right decision to leave to take care of his family. There is nothing more important.

He seems like a strong runner that is hard to bring down. He may not be the fastest person on the team, but I sure wouldn't have to try and run him down. Last fall in camp had like a 80-90 yard run. After he busted through, nobody could catch him.

Great article.

Go Utes!!!

Salt Lake City, UT

I thought Vakapuna looked just as good as the starters in the limited action he saw last year. I'm not sure White is big enough to be an every down back, or if he can do well in short yardage and goal line, so Vakapuna is a perfect change of pace guy, they will compliment each other perfectly.

I love it when good things happen to good people, Keep it up Tauni!

This offense is starting to get healthy, they are starting to come together, and they are going to surprise people this year.

Santa Monica, CA

Why don't they have him listed on the roster of the University of Utah Athletics web page? He seems slightly worthy. Also, that web page should include pictures of freshmen during their freshman season. Perhaps not right away, but they shouldn't have to go the whole season without their picture on their schools athletics web page. Also, the web page should get the year of the player correct (John Cullen is not a Jr.). And yes--I have contacted them.

Holladay, UT

This is a great kid - he was also a beast on the rugby field for Highland Rugby

Eagle Mountain, UT

He put his family first. Sounds like what BYU preaches and what many of the less intelligent "usual posters" condemn BYU for on this comment board. Not putting football first. I guess that is a litte hold over from Whittinghams days at BYU. I commend both coach and player.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

"Why don't they have him listed on the roster of the University of Utah Athletics web page?"

Whoever admins that site seems to run around 6 years behind the times. I wouldn't read anything into it.

Holladay, UT

Any player, from any program, that does the things he has done for his family then comes back to the program and performs at a high level is someone that kids looking for direction in life can look to for guidance.
If he makes the travel squad I hope, expect, that he should receive a scholarship. He is doing on and off the field.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA


So Utah RB Tauni Vakapuna opts to drop football in order to put his family first, and you see that as a reflection of somebody ELSE who happened to have played for the Y 30 yrs ago?

Wow! But then I guess that's pretty typical of a fanbase so DESPERATE for an "attaboy".

I'm sure Jon Hayes improvement at the QB position must have been on account of him sitting next to a former Deacon's Quorem President in English class way back when he was in the 8th grade.

BYU/Jazz fan
West Valley, UT

I hope he continues to put his family first as that's where his priorities lie. How's this for a little sad fact, USC could do better than UTAH in the South conference but because USC is ineligible from competing for a conference championship, Utah could get a chance anyways. A chance when they didn't earn it, how sad is that?

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Very nice to read about those players who actually care about and sacrifice for other people. Coach Whit seems to excel in finding them and letting them blossom on and off the field. It's a refreshing change from the daily dose of stories about players who will happily put their school and other people in jeopardy to satisfy a "me first" attitude.

Here's to a full and speedy recovery for Tauni's mom and sister. A good season would be just a little more icing on that cake.


Vakapuna is a great man. I would love to maybe see him in the "Asiata" wildcat package on third-and-short or near the goal line this year. It sounds like he would excel there if Whit says he is good at staying behinid his pads and hitting gaps well. He should have a great season.

Go Utes!!!

Qwest Perfected
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm so happy Vakapuna came back for his senior year!!! He is great running back and great man to have on the team. Younger players will get better just by being around this guy and following in his footsteps.

I hope he has a great year with the Utes - we seem to be pretty deep at running back. I hope they can all stay healthy and continue to push each other to get better.

Not much time left to get the final tweaks in place for this team. I can't wait for the season to begin!

Go Utes!!!

Cottonwood Heights, UT

BYU/Jazz fan | 10:04 a.m. Aug. 19, 2011
West Valley, UT

"A chance when they didn't earn it, how sad is that?"

Sad in that you're left hoping your team qualifies for the helicopter bowl, or whatever it is?

News Flash: Living right on and off the field doesn't just happen in Provo. Didn't your boy say that, magic happens?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

TJ: get over it. This isn't about byu it's about this kid and his priorities.

Wolverine 04
South Jordan, Ut

Now that Vakapuna has showed his mental and physical toughness as well as his commitment to the University lets get him a scholarship!

che loco
Springville, UT

Honest question: Did he go to school in either the Spring or Summer semesters? I don't know how he'd be eligible to play since student-athletes need to pass 24 credit hours at a 2.0 GPA from the previous school year in order to participate. If he sat out Spring and/or Summer how is it that he's eligible?

meet me in the MUSS
Sandy, Utah

che loco, all they said is that he left the team, it didn't say anything about attending classes, and he is eligible, so he must have attended classes

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