Detroit Lions new running back Sione Vaki arrested for assault

A look at the new running back for the Detroit Lions Sione Vaki

All the information you require on Sione Vaki, the new running back and/or safety for the Detroit Lions.


Sione Vaki, a fourth-round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2024 NFL Draft, was one of the team’s more intriguing selections. As a four-phase special team player, he is a versatile player who will most likely make an immediate impact. However, he also possesses the experience and ability set to be an offensive or defensive player.

As we continue our “5 things to know…” series on the Lions’ 2024 draft class, let’s get to know Vaki a little better:
He plays running back and safety, did you know that?
It’s crucial to remember that Vaki played mostly safety at Utah, even at the risk of making this into another Matthew Stafford and Clayton Kershaw argument. However, once the running bug caused injuries,  backs room, Vaki was moved over to an offensive role in addition to his defensive role.


The coaching staff in Utah wasn’t just acting on a whim. Before going to another high school, Vaki had a lot of offensive experience in high school, sharing the backfield with Najee Harris. He was named the league MVP in his senior year after catching 70 passes for 1,394 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Although Brad Holmes, general manager of the Lions, is aware of his ability to play safety, it appears that he is more intrigued by the unrealized potential of the running back:
“He can play safety, we know that. Holmes stated, “We’re so intrigued by the running back stuff, especially since he hadn’t been specializing in it. We know he can do it. So, assuming he is genuinely majoring in, how far can this thing go?  this thing in one room? So that’s going to be the vision.”


When I looked into Vaki’s preferences more, I found that, in this pre-draft interview with “Inside The Birds,” he provided a rather insightful response:

Vaki remarked, “I feel like offense comes more naturally to me.” Throughout my career, I have played a lot more offensive than defensive. However, I’m not sure why, but defense makes me happier.


His absurd high school highlights
Although he has some offensive footage from his time in Utah, his high school tape is full of absurd highlights. If you have eight minutes to spare, watch this highlight tape including incredible receptions, excellent contact balance, and great natural hands as a receiver. You’ll have to search for them, though—sorry, not much on YouTube. There are also many defensive standouts.


He took a two-year hiatus from college to serve in a religious mission.
Vaki went to Tonga as a member of a religious mission for Latter-day Saints after completing her high school education. Vaki would only end up staying in Tonga for six months as he traveled during the COVID-19 pandemic before being sent to Salt Lake City to complete the remainder of his two-year mission.

Vaki told Church News, “The mission gave me the confidence to speak with everyone, communicate, and just try to be a light and an example to those around me.” “I’m not very good at doing that.” However, the mission undoubtedly assisted me in my efforts to brighten everyone’s day in whatever manner I could.

Vaki also credited his missionary work with helping him build out his mental toughness, which helped in his college football career.

He is the youngest of 11 children

Vaki has a big family, and as the youngest of 11(!!), he often had the brunt of the chores of the household.

“It was definitely tough. Being the youngest, you definitely have your own chores as well as everyone else’s,” Vaki told the Lions media in his intro presser. “So, you can say I always learned to fight my way through life. And I love my family so much, as well as my siblings, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

His rough video is really good.
Observing the athletes’ and their families’ reactions as their lives permanently alter is my favorite part of draft weekend. Though I haven’t seen them all for the Lions draft class yet, Vaki’s class will be difficult to top. He has already received a call from the Lions at this point, but he and his family wait anxiously for the announcement to be made live on television.

He watches, tears in his eyes, looking into the future, his arm around his family and a Lions cap in hand:


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