Halapoulivaati Vaitai (born June 16, 1993) is an American football offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at TCU. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was born in Texas, but his parents are from Tonga.

 

 

High school career

Vaitai attended Haltom High School, where he played on the Buffs football team. He was ranked as the 40th best high school offensive line prospect in the United States and ranked third in Texas during his senior season in 2011–2012. In addition to TCU, he had scholarship offers to Michigan State, Texas Tech, Arkansas, and Utah.

College career

As a freshman in 2012, Vaitai appeared in five games as a backup offensive lineman. As a sophomore in 2013, he appeared in 12 games with seven starts. Five of his starts were at the right tackle position with two being at the left tackle position. As a junior in 2014, Vaitai was a second team All-Big 12 selection. He started all 13 games at right tackle. He helped the TCU offense finish second in the nation in scoring with an average of 46.5 points-per-game and tied for fifth in total offense with an average of 533 yards-per-game. As a senior in 2015, he was a second-team All-Big 12 selection by head coaches and the Associated Press. He played in 12 of 13 total games with 10 starts. He was a member of an offensive line that helped the Horned Frogs produce both a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver for only the second time in school history.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HtWtArm lengthHand size40‑yd dash10-yd split20-yd split20‑ss3‑coneVert jumpBroadBP
6 ft 6 in
(1.98 m)
320 lb
(145 kg)
34 14 in
(0.87 m)
10 58 in
(0.27 m)
5.16 s1.79 s3.05 s4.56 s7.7 s29 in
(0.74 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
27 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[2][6]

Vaitai was drafted in the fifth round, 164th overall, by the Philadelphia Eagles.[3] It was announced on May 6, 2016, that he had signed his rookie contract with the Eagles.[7] The contract was reportedly for four years and $2,565,124.[8] After starting right tackle Lane Johnson was suspended for ten games, Vaitai made his first start in Week 5. He held the starting job through Week 11 before suffering an MCL sprain in that game, keeping him out of the starting lineup the rest of the season.[9]

In the 2017 season, Vaitai filled in for right-tackle Lane Johnson against the Carolina Panthers due to injury. He would then fill in for injured left-tackle Jason Peters in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins and for the rest of the 2017 season.

Personal life

Halapoulivaati is the son of Takilivi and Shirley Vaitai and is of Tongan descent.