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Oregon State Football: Most Valuable Player Countdown - #12 Kalani Vakameilalo

The big Hawaiian will be part of a defensive line that can stand to improve in 2017.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most imposing figure on the Oregon State football team, Kalani Vakameilalo plays the defensive tackle position at 6’3” and 316 pounds. The junior has been a quality contributor the past two seasons with 27 tackles in 22 games (seven starts) and five tackles for a loss, plus four sacks.

His career highlights to date have included a seven tackle game against Utah last season and a four tackle, one sack, one pass deflection performance in the 2015 Civil War game. He’s got some impressive strength, which enables him to shed blocks and stuff the run. Other times, however, he just bowls over opposing offensive linemen.

In the new year, Vakameilalo’s chances of securing a starting spot are high considering his past body of work and how he’s looked in fall camp. In a recent article in the Gazette-Times, defensive coordinator Kevin Clune iterated how pleased he was with the first team defensive front, Vakameilalo included.

"I've really liked the way Titus (Failauga) has come out and really shown up every single day and worked hard and taken care of business," Clune said Monday evening. "Kalani (Vakameilalo) and Paisa (Savea) are right there with them. Those three (I'm) very happy with.” -- Gazette-Times, August 7th, 2017

Look for him to line up next to either Paisa Savea or Elu Aydon as down linemen. He and the entire group have a lot to prove after a 2016 season where they finished tied with Cal for the fewest sacks in the Pac-12 (18).

The List So Far:

#12: Kalani Vakameilalo - DT

#13: Elu Aydon - DT

#14: Thomas Tyner - RB

#15: Andrzej Hughes-Murray - LB

#16: Blake Brandel - OT

#17: Timmy Hernandez - WR

#18: Sumner Houston - Center

#19: Baker Pritchard - DE

#20: Kammy Delp - OG

#21: Artavis Pierce - RB

#22: Phillip Napoleon - DE

#23: Brandon Arnold - S

#24: Jay Irvine - CB

#25: Isaiah Hodgins - WR

#26: Christian Wallace - CB

#27: Trent Moore - OL

#28: Titus Failuaga - DE

#29: Dwayne Williams - CB

#30: Paisa Savea - DT

#31: Craig Evans - DT

#32: Jalen Moore - S

#33: Justin Sattelmaier - OL

#34: Trevon Bradford - WR

#35: Jonathan Willis - ILB

#36: Tuli Wily-Matagi - TE

#37: Doug Taumoelau - ILB

#38: Shemar Smith - OLB

#39: Hamilcar Rashed Jr. - OLB

#40: David Morris - S/OLB

#41: Nick Porebski - P

#42: Omar Hicks-Onu - S

#43: Isaac Garcia - DE

#44: Andre Bodden- WR

#45: Trajon Cotton - S

#46: Shemiah Unutoa-Whitson - OLB

#47: Kolby Taylor - WR

#48: Darell Garretson - QB

#49: Jordan Choukair & Adley Rutschman - K

#50: Thor Katoa - DT/OLB