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Blaze Sign Vaka Manupuna

November 29, 2007 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Utah Blaze News Release

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Blaze announce the signing of defensive lineman VAKA MANUPUNA (6-1, 305, Colorado) to a one-year contract today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed due to team policy.

"This signing, along with many others, illustrates our commitment to improving and strengthening our defense," said Blaze head coach and general manager DANNY WHITE. "Vaka is a big guy with some great experience. We are excited to have him as a part of the 2008 squad."

Manupuna joined the NFL's Washington Redskins' roster in August 2007 after spending time on the team's practice squad in 2006. He was on the roster of the New York Jets during the 2006 regular season, but did not see any game action. Manupuna originally signed with the Redskins as an undrafted rookie free agent in May 2006.

In college at Colorado, Manupuna started all 13 games as a senior, including the Champs Sports Bowl. He enjoyed his best season as a senior where he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference honors from both the Associated Press and the league coaches. The coaches also selected him as the recipient of CU's Regiment Award, given to the player with the greatest contribution with the least recognition, and he also earned his way on to CU's prestigious Victory Club. The former Buffalo had 52.0 total tackles on his senior season (28.0 solo), including 4.0 for losses, five third down stops, seven quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and two pass breakups. He recorded 40.0 tackles over the last seven games, including 9.0 (5.0 solo) at Texas during the regular season to match his career high.

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