UNLV: An honors candidate who should climb UNLV’s career tackles list as a senior this fall … Needs just 28 takedowns to move into the all-time top 10 with 276 … Listed No. 1 at strong safety spot heading into the fall … Named Preseason First Team All-MW by Phil Steele’s and second team by Athlon … Chosen to represent the defense at the Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas in July … Originally signed with MW member Utah State out of high school but instead joined the Rebels in time for fall 2011 … Name is pronounced “PENNY VAY-ah.”
2014: Earned Honorable Mention All-MW after starting 12 games, only missing one contest because of injury … Finished second on the team with 88 total tackles, including 7.5 for-loss … Ranked second on the squad with 3.5 QB sacks … Had his best game as a Rebel during his return to home state of Hawai’i as he had nine tackles (eight solo), three TFL and brought in his second career interception and returned it for 12 yards vs. the Warriors … Finished the season with a season-high 10 tackles vs. UNR … Named second team Preseason All-MW by Athlon and Phil Steele’s.
2013: Named UNLV’s Co-MVP on defense as a sophomore … Earned Honorable Mention All-MW after starting all 13 games at strong safety and leading the team in total tackles with 108, including three TFL … Finished 11th in the league and tied for 70th in the nation with 8.3 takedowns per game … Ranked second on squad with two interceptions … Grabbed his first career pick in a comeback win over Central Michigan in Game Three and added another vs. San Jose State in Game Nine … Posted a career-high 13 takedowns in win at UNR in Game Eight … Twice finished with a dozen tackles (vs. Arizona and at New Mexico) … Led UNLV in tackles in the Heart of Dallas Bowl with a game-high 11 against North Texas … Also had two nine-tackle efforts (at Minnesota and vs. SJSU).
2012: Earned his first letter as a Rebel by playing in eight games, including starting six at free safety … Finished ranked sixth on the team with 52 total tackles despite missing a third of the season because of injury … Had a big opening month by posting nine tackles each vs. Minnesota and NAU and then a career-high 10 vs. Washington State in Game Three.
2011: Joined UNLV in time for fall camp before redshirting the season … Named UNLV Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year.
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2011 graduate of Kealakehe HS … Lettered four seasons for coach Gary Clark … Played S, LB and returned punts and kickoffs for the Waveriders … Earned Honolulu Star-Advertiser third team all-state, all-district and All-Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I honors after registering a team-high 85 total tackles, eight TFL, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and four interceptions as a senior ... Also scored three TDs, returning two interceptions and returning a kickoff 90 yards ... Helped his team finish 10-2 and win its fifth BIIF title in seven years in 2010 ... As a junior, earned First Team All-BIIF Division I accolades … Also a four-year letterwinner in volleyball and a two-year letterwinner in basketball ... Named his school’s Athlete of the Year in 2010-11.
PERSONAL: Peni A. Vea was born March 4, 1992 … Father is Tevita Vea and mother is Pesi Vea … Has a brother, Aleki, and sister, Tupou … Majoring in criminal justice.