You won't find a more engaging personality anywhere in the West than Encino (Calif.) Crespi tight end Joseph Fauria. The talented athlete is a big time football player as well and was hands down the top player at his position at the SoCal NIKE Camp. Following the camp, Fauria talked about his overall showing, his top five schools and gave us his time line on making a college choice.
At the recent NIKE Camp, no player stood out more than Fauria for a couple of reasons. For starters, when you're at least a head taller than everyone else in attendance, you're going to stand out. Everyone was asking, 'who is that guy,' throughout the camp and that was even before the position drills started.
Once Fauria went out for a few routes and showed the softest hands in the camp, people starting talking about him for another reason. At 6-7, 250 pounds, Fauria is a huge target but is not a stiff, lumbering guy running around on the field. He's a legitimate athlete that runs solid routes, can get down the field and as we mentioned, he'll catch anything near him.
"I thought I did pretty well out here," Fauria said. "I wanted to prove that I wasn't just some big, slow tight end but that I was someone that could run and catch and I think I did that. I'm not a guy that catches the ball and falls down, I can make plays and that's what I was hoping to show."
One thing the NIKE Camps don't show at the tight end position is how well can they block. Fauria said he takes great pride in his blocking and it's something he works hard on.
"I definitely take pride in it," Fauria said. "My head coach, Jeremiah Ross, played offensive line at Fresno State and he has worked a lot with me. Also my uncle, Christian Fauria (former All-American TE at Colorado) gives me tips on blocking and I'm getting a lot better. I thought it was solid last year but this year, I'm going to be out there putting guys on their backs."
On the recruiting front, Fauria is getting a new offer almost daily and is up to 11 offers total. He broke down his top schools for us.
"I've been to three practices at UCLA and I watched them scrimmage and I like them a lot," he said. "LSU was my third offer and I'm very interested in them. They're always competing for National Championships. I took an unofficial visit to Stanford and had a great experience there. I got a good vibe from the coaching staff and I like Jim Harbaugh. Plus academics are a big thing for me and you can't beat Stanford there.
"Last week, I got a text message to call Notre Dame and when I called Coach Weis back, they offered me. I've always been a fan of Notre Dame and you can even go look in my photo album of when I was in pre-school and there are pictures of me smiling wearing a Notre Dame shirt. I would love visit there and I'm probably going to take an unofficial visit there.
"I also like Oregon, they have offered me and they're a school that puts a lot of tight ends in to the NFL. Coach Belotti is a good guy and I'm definitely interested in looking more at the Ducks. That would be my top five right now.
"As for making a decision, right now, I really don't know if I'm going to commit early or take my visits. I do want to take my time and give everyone a chance who is recruiting me. There are even schools I didn't mention like Nebraska, or USC that I'm still interested in. I don't have a leader right now and to be honest until I see and visit all these schools, I really can't name a leader because it's not fair to compare a school I've seen against one I haven't seen. I'm just taking my time and announce when I'm ready."