HAWAII GROWN: USC’s Vavae Malepeai to have knee surgery

Southern California running back Vavae Malepeai has never fumbled the ball in college. Associated Press Photo/Mark J. Terrill.

USC running back Vavae Malepeai will have knee surgery, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Malepeai, the former Mililani star who ranks second on Hawaii’s all-time list of leading rushers, was enjoying a successful season as a starter for the Trojans.

“Vavae is a warrior,” USC coach told the Times. “[He was] dealing with a sore knee and really fighting through it for his team. It’s just gotten to the point where it’s gotten too sore, so we’re going to go ahead and take care of it now. What’s fortunate is we still have a lot of talented backs on this team.”

Helton added there is no timetable for his return.

Malepeai, who is a 6-foot, 200-pound junior, rushed 87 times for 406 yards and four TDs in five games for the 2-3 team. His career rushing stats are 1,168 yards on 229 carries and 12 TDs.

Malepeai also has 29 career receptions for 152 yards.

One more big stat for a running back: He has not fumbled in a USC uniform.

From 2013 to ’15 for Mililani, Malepeai rushed for 4,549 yards and 71 TDs on 685 carries and was part of the 2014 top-tier state championship team. The 71 rushing TDs is a Hawaii record. In rushing yards, he is behind only Waipahu’s Alfred Failauga (2016-19), who is up to 5,683 and still going.


  1. ??? October 17, 2019 1:57 pm

    Get well Vae!

  2. rrforlifebaby October 18, 2019 9:48 am

    Praying for his recovery!


  3. Hau’ulaBoy October 19, 2019 2:40 pm

    Wish this kid fast and full recovery. Get well soon and come back and tear it up!!!!!!

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