2019 Season Outlook
Senior nose tackle Vaha Vainuku is in his second season as a Husker after joining the program as a graduate transfer in 2018. The 6-3, 310-pound Vainuku will push for playing time at nose tackle this fall, where Nebraska also has sophomore Damion Daniels and fellow graduate transfer Darrion Daniels. Vainuku spent his first three seasons of college football at the University of Utah, following a two-year church mission.
Vainuku graduated from Utah in May of 2018, and is working toward a master’s degree at Nebraska.
After transferring from Utah, Vainuku appeared in one game in his junior season at Nebraska, making his Husker debut in the win against Bethune-Cookman. The BCU game marked the first defensive snaps of his collegiate career, as the two games he played at the University of Utah were as an offensive lineman.
Before Nebraska (Salt Lake City East HS/Utah)
Vainuku joined Nebraska as a graduate transfer in the summer of 2018. Vainuku graduated from Salt Lake City East High School in 2012 and then served a two-year church mission in Oakland, Calif., before enrolling at Utah in January of 2015.
Vainuku, who originally signed with the Utes in 2012, redshirted as a freshman at Utah in 2015, when he was sidelined with an injury. The next season, he appeared in two games on the offensive line. He battled injuries throughout his time in Salt Lake City and elected to retire from the sport prior to the 2017 season. After earning his degree in May of 2018, Vainuku decided to give football another try and enrolled at Nebraska.
In high school, Vainuku was a two-time all-state selection as an offensive lineman for Salt Lake City East, and he also participated in basketball and track and field, winning the 2011 Utah 4A state shot put championship. Although he played on the offensive line at East, Vainuku was recruited as a defensive tackle and was regarded as a three-star prospect. His full name is Ofalotu Hevaha Vainuku.
Vaha is the son of Vaha and Siupeli Vainuku, and he was born on Oct. 21, 1993. He is enrolled in the child, youth and family studies graduate program. Vainuku has volunteered with local hospital visits.