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Oregon State Football: Most Valuable Player Countdown - #2 Kalani Vakameilalo

The senior looks to anchor a depleted defensive line

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football season is about a week away, and our countdown is wrapping up. Today we cover No. 2.

#2: Kalani Vakameilalo - Defensive Line

Kalani Vakameilalo (pronounced vah-kah-may-lah-loh) is a big-time defensive tackle for Oregon State. The senior started all 12 games last season and has played in 34 games for the Beavers. In recent weeks due to a lack of defensive line depth, the defense has been playing a 2-4-5 formation and not only is Vakameilalo expected to start, he will be asked to play a lot of snaps and occupy a lot of blockers to open up lanes for the linebackers.

I don’t think enough has been made of the depth concerns on the defensive line. The Beavers were already desperate for D-line depth before the season and since that time Elu Aydon’s conditioning has come into question and Jeromy Reichner is expected to miss most of the season due to injury. Oregon State is going to have to rely on a couple of freshman to play a lot of snaps (Garcia & Hodgins). If the inexperienced lineman struggle they do not have a lot of options to turn to and if they can’t generate any sort of pressure on opposing quarterbacks it’ll make life difficult for the Oregon State secondary.

Kalani Vakameilalo is going to be very important for Oregon State in 2018. His leadership and experience will be crucial on the defensive line. If the Beavers can develop a stout front-seven they have a chance to beat their projected win total. Either way expect Vakameilalo to have a big senior season donning the orange and black.

The list so far:

#2: Kalani Vakameilalo - DL

#3: Gus Lavaka - OL

#4: Jake Luton - QB

#5: Artavis Pierce - RB

#6: Noah Togiai - TE

#7: Isaiah Hodgins - WR

#8: Elu Aydon - DT

#9: David Morris - S

#10: Jalen Moore - S

#11: Timmy Hernandez - WR

#12: Andrzej Hughes-Murray - LB

#13: Sumner Houston - OL

#14: Trevon Bradford - WR

#15: Jonathan Willis - LB

#16: Kammy Delp - OL

#17: Jay Irvine - CB

#18: Kee Whetzel - LB

#19: Trent Moore - OL

#20: Dwayne Williams - CB

#21: LaMone Williams - DE

#22: Isaiah Dunn - CB

#23: Conor Blount - QB

#24: Omar Hicks-Onu - S

#24: Omar Hicks-Onu - S

#25: Jeromy Reichner - DE

#26: Hamilcar Rashed Jr. - LB

#27: Isaac Garcia - DE

#28: Shemar Smith - LB

#29: Shawn Wilson - CB

#30: Yanni Demogerontas - OL

Check back tomorrow for #1!