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BYU defensive lineman Victory Vaka enters transfer portal

Vaka, a former three-star recruit, is the eighth Cougar player to hit the portal this offseason

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake stands on the sideline at LaVell Edwards Stadium in September.

BYU defensive lineman Victory Vaka is in the transfer portal before ever playing a game in Provo.

Vaka, a freshman who grayshirted this fall, announced on Twitter he would be stepping away from the program. This comes just days after Vaka announced he was enrolled in classes for the spring semester.

“I want to thank everyone at BYU for the love and support [in] the time I was there,” Vaka, who was expected to play in 2022, wrote. “But after praying and talking with my family, we have [decided] it’s in my best interest to enter the transfer portal at this time.”

Vaka is a former three-star recruit, according to 247Sports. He committed to BYU last April as a preferred walk-on after a volatile recruiting history.

He was originally committed to Texas A&M, but decommitted late in 2020. Vaka’s recruiting then underwent a flurry of changes. He picked up offers from Maryland and Penn State. He also committed and decommitted from Colorado in the span of a year.

The Westlake, Calif., native missed the February 2021 signing period. The plan was for Vaka to defer his enrollment until January and play in 2022.

Vaka is the eighth player for BYU to enter the transfer portal this offseason. He is, however, the only defensive lineman to leave the program.

BYU brought in two defensive linemen last year in Vaka’s recruiting class. The program also received commitments from two players at that position this December during the early signing period.

The defensive line is a position of continuity for BYU going into 2022. Four of five opening day starters in 2021 will return. Senior Uriah Leiataua is the only graduating player on the line from last year.

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