Utah DT Aliki Vimahi Will Face His Brother Enokk In Rose Bowl Game

Dec 30, 2021, 5:51 PM | Updated: Jan 1, 2022, 1:04 pm
Aliki Vimahi - Utah Utes vs. Washington...
Aliki Vimahi #95 of the Utah Utes looks on before their game against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – The first ever Rose Bowl appearance for Utah will have an even more special meaning for defensive tackle Aliki Vimahi, who will face his brother Enokk.

Aliki Vimahi is in his second season with Utah and is having a great season. He didn’t see any action in his first season with the Utes in 2020 after returning from a two-year church mission.

Younger brother Enokk is in his second season with Ohio State as an offensive lineman.

Aliki Vimahi Facing His Brother In Rose Bowl Game

Aliki didn’t think he would ever play against his brother in a college football game.

“To be honest? Not really,” Vimahi told KSL Sports. “But there was high hopes for playing against him. But it’s come this far and soon in our lives, especially in our collegiate athletic career and I’m stoked about it. I’m hyped.”

With most siblings there is trash talking. With the Vimahi brothers, there is some trash talk, while also enjoying the moment.

“A little bit of both,” Vimahi said. “I mean, sibling rivalry, older brother, little brother. But at the end of the day, we love each other. We always tell each other to just play our best and to leave it out on the field.”

Aliki has appeared in nine games in 2021, posting 11 tackles, two sacks, three pass breakups and a quarterback hit.

“It very much does,” Vimahi said about it being more special playing his brother in the Rose Bowl. “Growing up, I used to watch the Rose Bowl with my father. We’d be sitting on the couch and he would always be telling us ‘one of you guys are gonna be playing in this game’ and turns out to be both of us.”

Aliki found out that the Utes were going to play the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl and his family shared the news in a group chat.

“I was ecstatic,” Vimahi stated. “The first word that came to mind was a family affair. I just remember the day it happened. My mom sent a picture of who we playing in the Rose Bowl to the group chat and all my other siblings were just like, ‘Oh, okay.’ All I said was just go Utes and left it at that.”

Enokk played in six games as a freshman last season with Ohio State, who won the Big Ten and the Sugar Bowl. This season, he appeared in three games before using his redshirt.

With Aliki playing for Utah in Salt Lake City and Enokk playing for Ohio State in Columbus, the distance between them has actually made them closer as brothers.

“It actually makes us closer the farther we are apart,” stated Aliki. “I believe it makes us closer. I know we have different schedules, different time zones. But those phone calls, those face times, especially those times we get to have in person over break, it definitely brings us closer. Just the bound we have as brothers. I think that definitely has strengthened over time.”

Utah will face Ohio State in the 108th Rose Bowl Game on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at 3 p.m. MT on ESPN.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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