ShrineDog Awards of 2016 Class: Recruiting Vavae Malepeai

The anticipation of the ShrineDog Awards always makes me happy. If you’re not familiar with this original award, you may get a better explanation from the first ShrineDogs article here.

Another signing period is over, so that requires me to evaluate and analyze the talent that pledged for the next three to four years to their university of choice. Of course, I’m obligated to seek those special individuals I feel may not have received great guidance or counsel from those closest to them. The choice was made, and the letter of intent was signed and faxed. It’s official. Now the fun begins.

Sometimes selecting the ShrineDog candidates is challenging and takes some time; however, the first was easy, as a Ducks fan. My job isn’t as easy as stating some random name. I need to prove to everyone else the reasoning behind my choice of the winner of this crazy award.

I declare Vavae Malepeai of Hawaii is the winner of the first 2016 ShrineDog Award. Congratulations, Vavae!

Malepeai was a mere 3-star talent out of Mililani High until the University of Oregon took notice and extended an offer to this flashy, quick running back that cut so sharp and tight that it broke ankles in games and at camps during one-on-ones. Duck fans throughout the world applauded the verbal commitment to Oregon as they instantly fell in love with the shifty back.

Malepeai offered constant praises of Oregon and confirmation of the “solid” commitment during each interview he gave while his popularity increased. His stock soared and soared. Oregon’s staff was deemed brilliant when a fourth star was placed on this prep stud.

What happened next was the biggest shocker for all Duck fans, and possibly the coaches as well.

Malepeai chose to visit USC the weekend prior to signing day, misleading the Oregon coaches into thinking he was home that whole weekend instead. He enjoyed the trip so much that word got out that he could possibly flip. Sure enough, USC’s great class gained another 4-star.

Sure, Malepeai might be laughing now and starting his journey to hating the Ducks, but this will become a mistake that he will regret for years to come. Strictly based on a new formula by yours truly for, the Comparative Recruiting Index allows me to give a big, deep chuckle inside as the Oregon snubber gets a glimpse of his future of success (or more accurately, lack of success).

The CRI is introduced in this amazing article by Mike Ostrom here. Oregon does better with “lesser” talent than schools such as USC and UCLA and most SEC schools. The Trojans’ success lately has been miserable compared to the expectations based on how well recruiting is each year. This has nothing to do with depth charts this time.

I can’t feel sorry for a guy who doesn’t do his research prior to picking a school or changing to another school. I wonder how much it will sting when Malepeai loses to Oregon over and over.

Oh well — congratulations, Vavae. This ShrineDog is for you!

Top Photo by Isaiah Hole (247sports)

Follow me on Twitter @buzzbrother2

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Jason Fowler

Jason Fowler

Jason, born and raised in central Oregon, first noticed college football when his older brother attended the University of Oregon. Jason studied English at Southern Oregon University and enjoyed cheering for the school’s team, but longed for that major college game-day experience. That desire slowly blossomed into a fanatical passion for the national feel of college football, especially defending the Pac-12 while challenging conferences like the SEC to step up. He has spent five years expounding on the differences between the two conferences on his blog,, set up solely for that purpose. Following the Ducks' recruiting progress in the off-season has made college football a year-round hobby for him. He now resides in Spokane, Washington with his incredibly patient, non-football-fan wife and three children, and works as an MRI Technologist. He can be reached at


    LOVE IT! The recruiting needs to make a new set of rules and it would be welcome to see them have to select a school before the end of December not February. This has been happening unfortunately under Helfrich’s reign as Oregon’s HC. Whatever it is as far as recruiting go’s Oregon’s Coach’s are all pretty much Dinasours with the respect to Texting and Twitter and basically the Electronic world we live in. Oregon is getting behind the 8 Ball for some reason but I also think there should be rules against 50+ year old Coach’s spending the night at a recruits home. To me that was pathetic what Harbaugh did but the guy will do anything to get a recruit and it almost or did get the TOP rated class so Oregon probably needs to start being a little more innovative with their tactics now and in the future. That kid from Hawaii as well as all the other 4 stars that seemed to be a little FLAKY towards the end shows that some people’s word doesn’t mean ” S— ” and this is how this ME GENERATION is as they think everyone owe’s them something. I mean I can just get on 247 sites and see the young stupidity on the Ducks boards as they think they know everything about Football and they don’t know ” S—” and I believe that Fish himself would be better than that guy Justin by a long shot. Punks is what I like to call em. Mayden did the same thing to Oregon as well as Kelly and what you can see the writing on the wall about Kelly is that he saw that he might not start at Oregon nor may never so this is good because the kid obviously doesn’t like competition. Oregon Coach’s need to start negatively recruit other programs like nothing against Peterson as Coach of the Mutt’s but alls these Coach’s need to say to a recruit thats thinking about them over us is 12-0 BABY so take that to the bank. Can you imagine if we’d of gotten Shaq Thompson we probably would be National Champs.

    • I appreciate your comments, Maitai! Agreed! The coaching staff seems to inadvertently chase off recruits, but as you said, it’s a “Me generation.” Also, we are dealing with 16-18 year-olds that have never made such a huge decision in their lives. Its gotta be tough! I’ve never been blessed with athletic ability and wouldn’t know what kinds of pressure put on these kids. I don’t think we’ll ever see negative recruiting from Helfrich and staff. Oregon shouldn’t have to. The winning, the amazing facilities, beautiful location and avid fans should be enough positive recruiting that elite talent kids should be flocking to a part of the success. I really wanted Oregon to keep Maleveai because he’s that good, but his talent will be “wasted” at a team that repeatedly underachieves in the W column. I’m hoping the new defense will win hearts over and show blue-chip defensive guys that Oregon is not only about the offense anymore. Can’t wait!