Two Utah Football Standouts Accept Senior Bowl Invites

Jan 11, 2024, 10:54 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – Two more Utah football standouts accepted invitations to showcase their talents in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on January 10.

Safeties Cole Bishop and Sione Vaki will be heading to Mobile, Alabama along with offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea as part of their preparations for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Bishop and Vaki are also making Senior Bowl history as part of their first-ever underclassmen invitees.

Cole Bishop And Sione Vaki At Utah

Bishop and Vaki were forces for the Utes during their tenure in the Utah football defensive backfield creating havoc and making life hard on opposing quarterbacks.

Cole Bishop

As a freshman in 2021, Bishop racked up 54 total tackles, three sacks, one fumble recovery and five passes defended on Utah’s way to a Pac-12 Title and Rose Bowl appearance.

Bishop’s “coming-out” game came against C.J. Stroud and Ohio State’s stable of receivers in the Rose Bowl where he accounted for eight tackles and one fumble recovery as a freshman.

In 2022 Bishop accounted for 83 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, one interception and three passes defended helping Utah to a second-straight Pac-12 Title and Rose Bowl appearance.

Bishop demonstrated his team-first mentality in 2023 often playing free safety rather than his more natural strong safety position due to the Utes being short on bodies with injuries. Even so, the talented defensive back chipped in 60 total tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, and three passes defended.

Sione Vaki

Due to injuries stacking up for the Utes, Vaki stepped in and played running back for Utah starting against the Cal Golden Bears in addition to playing safety for the defense.

Vaki’s second notable game playing two-ways came against the USC Trojans the following week where the versatile player was Utah’s leading receiver. He recorded 5 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns to lift the Utes to victory.

Vaki really showed off his two-way ability one more time No. 5 Washington helping to keep the Utes in the game with big plays on both sides of the ball.

The talented player played in 26 games for the Utes with 17 starts and seven total appearances on offense.

Defensively Vaki racked up 51 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one interception, and two pass breakups in 2023 while also carrying the ball 42 times on offense for 317 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, Vaki caught the ball 11 times for 203 yards and three more scores.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Two Utah Football Standouts Accept Senior Bowl Invites