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Oregon State Football: Most Valuable Player Countdown - #2 Manase Hungalu

The senior tackling machine captains a defense looking to make another leap.

Oregon State v UCLA
Manase Hungalu looks forward to leading an improved defense.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

With just two days to go until the start of college football, we come out with our second most valuable player, Manase Hungalu. The Butkus Award Watchlist nominee comes into his final season at Oregon State as the leader of the defense. Last year he finished second on the team in tackles with 83, to go along with four pass deflections, three tackles for a loss, three fumble recoveries, and an interception. According to Oregon State’s Official Twitter account, Hungalu’s 7.6 tackles per game from last year ranks second among returning Pac-12 Players.

Oregon State’s defense made significant strides from 2015 to 2016, going from 11th in total defense and scoring defense to 8th in both categories. In that time, Hungalu saw his tackles nearly double as he gained more experience on his way to becoming a co-team captain this off-season.

There are two games that really stick out in my mind when I think of Hungalu. First he had a 13 tackle day against Utah on a day where the weather gods brought us one of those famous Oregon Coast storms that bled into the valley, creating winds greater than 50 MPH to Reser. Because of the winds and rain, both teams relied on keeping the ball on the ground, allowing Hungalu and (now departed linebacker) Caleb Saulo to lead both teams in tackles.

NCAA Football: Utah at Oregon State
Hungalu had a career day against Utah where he racked up 13 tackles.
Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

The other game was at UCLA where Hungalu got his hands on three turnovers. First he picked up a fumble forced by Jalen Moore and returned it 31 yards to the UCLA four yard line, setting up the Beavers first score. Then he snatched another fumble, this time by Devin Chappell, and rumbled 40 yards for a touchdown. For his third trick, Hungalu didn’t need an assist as he snagged an errant pass and added 37 yards to his return total, bringing it to triple digits.

We look forward to Hungalu’s 2017 season as a team leader and expect him to have a big year in the middle of the defense. He has shown a nose for the football (as evident in the two highlighted games) and the tackling technique you would expect from an experienced senior linebacker. Here’s to hoping that Hungalu plays some lullabies towards Pac-12 offenses!


The List So Far:

#2: Manase Hungalu - ILB

#3: Xavier Crawford - CB

#4: Bright Ugwoegbu - LB

#5: Jake Luton - QB

#6: Jordan Villamin - WR

#7: Noah Togiai - TE

#8: Seth Collins - WR

#9: Surprise Newcomers

#10: Fred Lauina - OG/RT

#11: Gus Lavaka - OG

#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 - K

#50: Thor Katoa - DT/OLB