Football

How do you say Halapoulivaati Vaitai?

TCU offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai hopes NFL scouts remember his name even if they can’t pronounce it.
TCU offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai hopes NFL scouts remember his name even if they can’t pronounce it. Star-Telegram

An NFL official raised her arms in victory after she announced TCU offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s name (it’s hal-lah-poo-li-VAH-tee VIE-tie), and he confirmed she had pronounced it correctly.

Some NFL coaches have come close, but Vaitai will answer to almost anything.

“Daily. Every day,” he said when asked how often his name is mispronounced. “I’m used to it. You’d be surprised: I even mess up my name.”

Vaitai’s name was a big part of his almost 13-minute interview with the media at the Scouting Combine on Wednesday.

Signing autographs, he admits, is a pain.

“After awhile, I start writing ‘H Vaitai,’” he said.

Vaitai got his given name from his uncle. He drew laughter when he said his twin brothers’ names are Kevin and William. But he wouldn’t trade with them.

“I like it,” he said. “It’s unique.”

Vaitai, who measured 6 foot 6 and weighed 320 pounds, is hoping scouts remember his name for another reason come draft day.

The TCU OL speaks at the combine.

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