2020 Mountain West Football Top 50 Players: #43, Hawaii G Solo Vaipulu
The big guard is the second Warriors offensive lineman to crack our list of the Mountain West’s best players.
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Another among one of the conference’s best units.
A good offense is nothing with a good offensive line, meaning that the next player in our countdown of Mountain West football’s top athletes, Hawaii’s Solo Vaipulu, is perhaps still a tad underrated, especially among those fans who go to bed early instead of staying up for pyrotechnics on the Hawaiian islands.
Though he missed time in the middle of the 2019 season due to injury, Vaipulu still played in ten games, starting nine of them, and the Warriors’ run-and-shoot offense was plenty potent with him, averaging 6.42 yards per play when he was in the lineup. He may also have played a more significant role in preventing disruptive plays than it seems at a glance: Hawaii allowed a TFL or sack on just 2.45% of plays when he played compared to a 6.2% rate when he did not.
Remarkably, 2020 will mark his third year as a starter, so while the high-flying offense will surely evolve under new head coach Todd Graham, Vaipulu should continue to be a reliable pillar of protection for Chevan Cordeiro and company.