Bears add OL Sioape Vakitani to 2022 class

Shoring up the offensive line

The Bears have added to the offensive line! 2022 OL Sioape Vakitani announced his commitment to the Bears after visiting two weeks ago. Vakitani is Cal’s first offensive line commit in the 2022 class and will look to be the future guard for recent Cal commit Kaleb Johnson.

The 3-Star OL from Bishop Manogue in Reno, Nevada checks in at 6-3 and 260 pounds, according to 247. He also held offers from ASU, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, and Washington State.

Here’s what SG Bear has to say about Sioape Vatikani:

Sioape’s profile on 247’s website showed his baby face and him being 6’3” 260 pounds. I have to admit that I was thinking “he’s an offensive guard prospect?” So I started watching his junior highlight tape and it quickly set me straight that the 247 pictures and stats are from when he was a freshman.

Sioape has since grown another inch and added a whopping 40 more pounds. He is now a hulking, low-center-of-gravity brute you put in at guard. On the positive side, his footwork dramatically improved from a plodding pusher to a proper offensive lineman. He showed that he can play in a zone-blocking scheme switching off to new responsibility. He also showed that he can crush lesser opponents, even though they compete in Reno’s top division. He’s not going to win many footraces, but he’s quick enough to be functional on a Pac-12 front line.  He’s a bruiser and a physical brawler with a bit of a nasty streak.

Naturally, he’s still developing - so he could use some conditioning to improve his composition, leverage, flexibility, and explosiveness. He also might be a bit grabby with jerseys, which Pac-12 refs might not like. It’s hard to know how competitive he is against better competition, but alas I couldn’t find any camp video. I’m going to have to trust Coach McClure on this one, but he looks great from where I sit.

Welcome to Berkeley, Sioape!