Nov 9, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; USC Trojans fullback Soma Vainuku (31) blocks the punt by California Golden Bears punter Cole Leininger (16) during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football: Fullback, Special Teams Star Soma Vainuku To Take On New Role At Running Back

According to’s Ryan Abraham and other practice reports on Twitter, Trojans fullback and special teams star Soma Vainuku took reps as the third string running back at practice Tuesday.

With injuries to Silas Redd, Tre Madden, Justin Davis and DJ Morgan, USC is looking particularly thin at tailback after beginning the season with a stable of able-bodied runners. Davis and Morgan are out for the season, while Redd and Madden are still in doubt for Saturday.

That leaves USC with two healthy scholarship running backs, thus necessitating the inclusion of Vainuku, who has grown this season as a fullback and has excelled in special teams.

While Vainuku’s presence in the running back rotation is cause for concern because it shows just how thin the Trojans are at key positions, it could also be a blessing in disguise. Against the powerful Stanford defensive front, USC will need as physical a presence on the ground as they can muster.

In high school, Vainuku was on a number of All-Prep first teams as a linebacker and fullback. At Eureka High School he rushed for 2,202 yards on 252 carries and scored 38 touchdowns, helping his team to the 2009 CIF North Coast Division II title.


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Tags: Football Silas Redd Soma Vainuku Tre Madden USC Trojans

  • Ben Factor

    My superficial impression, Alicia, is that he doesn’t have good balance. The operative term is superficial, since I haven’t seen him carry the ball much (has anyone?). Hopefully, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    • Alicia de Artola

      We’ve really only seen him catch then run. And to be honest, most of the time I’m so focused on the fact that he caught the ball to notice how he looks after the fact.
      In any case, even as the third back his touches should be limited.

  • Trojan

    Do your thing Soma. Beat Stanford.

  • Alii Cordero

    Soma you have worked so hard to get where your at, I’m so very proud of you. God gives you a path and only you can decide which way to go. You deserve everything coming your way love ya cuz .