Hercules Mata'afa

Minnesota Vikings Lahaina, Hawaii Pac-12 Conference

Hercules Mata'afa
No. 51 – Minnesota Vikings
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1995-09-18) September 18, 1995 (age 24)
Lahaina, Hawaii
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school:Lahainaluna (Lahaina, Hawaii)
College:Washington State
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Consensus All-American (2017)
  • Polynesian College Football Player of The Year (2017)
  • AP Pac-12 Defensive Player of The Year (2017)
  • First-team All-Pac-12 (2017)
  • Second-team All-Pac-12 (2016)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2019
Total tackles:1
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:1
Player stats at NFL.com

Hercules Mata'afa (born September 18, 1995) is an American football defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Washington State University.

College career

As a junior in 2017, Mata'afa was a consensus All-American and was named the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.[1][2][3] He was also named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.[4] On December 31, 2017, Mata'afa declared his intentions to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.[5]

Professional career

Mata'afa signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2018.[6] However, on June 6, he suffered a season-ending injury to his ACL.[7] He was waived/injured on June 20, 2018 and was placed on injured reserve after clearing waivers.[8] He was signed back to the Vikings for the 2019 preseason. He managed to make the final roster coming out of training camp. On September 15, 2019, he recovered an Aaron Rodgers fumble in a loss to the Packers.


  1. ^ Lawson, Theo (December 12, 2017). "Hercules Mata'afa becomes Washington State's first consensus All-American DL in 15 years". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Loh, Stefanie (December 12, 2017). "WSU's Hercules Mata'afa named Polynesian College Football Player of the Year; also becomes consensus All-American". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Lawson, Theo (December 12, 2017). "Washington State defensive tackle Hercules Mata'afa named Polynesian Player of the Year". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "WSU's Mata'afa named AP Pac-12 Defensive Player of Year". Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. December 11, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Hercules Mata'afa declares for NFL Draft". CougCenter. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  6. ^ "Vikings Agree to Terms with Undrafted Free Agents". Vikings.com. April 30, 2018. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018.
  7. ^ Krammer, Andrew (June 6, 2018). "Vikings rookie defensive end Mata'afa tears ACL in practice". StarTribune.com. StarTribune. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  8. ^ "Vikings Sign Rookie Linebacker Mike Needham". Vikings.com. June 20, 2018.