It is rare that a 300-pound defensive lineman gets to run the ball in college football. There are instances when a team will hand the ball off or throw a surprise screen to their biggest guy at the goal line, but they are few and far between.
Because of the rarity, every lineman — both offensive and defensive — dreams of carrying the rock.
Sulaifu, a 6-foot-0, 298-pound sophomore, hails from Ontario, California. He was a two-star recruit who ended up committing to play for the Bears, who are currently ranked No. 6 in the FCS.
Despite his star ranking, don’t get it twisted— Suliafu is an ath-uh-lete.
Last season, as a freshman, the versatile big man earned time on special teams and saw carries as a fullback. During a game against Central Arkansas, the opposing kicker left his kickoff well short of the goal line. It led to one of the best moments of the 2021 football season.
Suliafu stepped up and fielded the kick before the most dominant four-yard return of all-time ensued.
On Thursday night, during Missouri State’s second game of 2022 and the only ranked FCS matchup of Week 2, the UT Martin kicker made the same mistake. He let Suliafu loose.
After fielding the kickoff just inside his own 20-yard-line, Suliafu proceeded to break multiple tackles and juke out multiple defenders as he took the return well past midfield. It was art.
Take extra note of Suliafu’s initial burst that sent the out-stretched Skyhawks defender sprawling onto the turf below.
Here’s Missouri State defensive lineman Sialae Suliafu’s Big Man kickoff return in full:
How can you not be romantic about college football?!