Q&A with Erick Faatagi

Erick Faatagi has the potential to be a starting guard for the Buffaloes this fall. Inside, Faatagi talks about how far along he is in rehabbing his knee and his prospects for playing sooner rather than later.

BSN: How's your knee doing?
Erick Faatagi
: Pretty good. Almost 100 percent.

BSN: Were you expecting to participate as much in spring as you have been?
Erick Faatagi
: Yeah. We decided that coming into spring ball.

BSN: When did you actually have the surgery?
Erick Faatagi
: Back in August.

BSN: What was it?
Erick Faatagi
: ACL and meniscus, which is why it took so long to come back, because it was both of those things.

BSN: Was that an old injury or something new?
Erick Faatagi
: A combination. I had surgery back in high school for the same thing. But coming here out of shape, not taking care of it, I just re-injured it.

BSN: When do they think it'll be 100 percent?
Erick Faatagi
: Probably after spring break I'll be able to come back full go.

BSN: How much would you like to get back on the field full go?
Erick Faatagi
: A lot because as you can see numbers is what kills us right now on the line. It'd be nice to get back in the mix. Hopefully, I'll make up for what I missed last season.

BSN: What was that experience like, sitting out last year?
Erick Faatagi
: I just got a feel for how D-I football is played and what they expect of you.

BSN: Tell me about Coach Grimes. How's he been so far?
Erick Faatagi
: He's pretty cool. He's real straightforward. He hasn't surprised us with anything. He tells us everything up front. He has a lot to teach us.

BSN: The techniques that he's coaching, are they much different than what Coach Strausser taught, or similar?
Erick Faatagi
: Strauss was more of an assignment guy, where I'd say Grimes is more technique and how you get the job done. Right now we're just working a lot on footwork, hand placement, how to be good blockers period.

BSN: Has he talked to you about what he expects from you once you get healthy?
Erick Faatagi
: I have a former teammate that played at BYU (center Sete Aulai) that I played with at ElCo. From what he heard from my teammate he expects a lot out of me.

BSN: Coach Helfrich said he was pleased that with your injury and recovery you didn't get way out of shape. What did you do to keep that from happening?
Erick Faatagi
: It's hard getting around in Colorado on crutches. So it was a workout in itself just getting around here. Other than that, those first two weeks with all the meds I lost my appetite. By the time I was able to walk again, I had dropped 50 pounds. I came in here at 360. When I was able to work out again, I had dropped to 310.

BSN: What are you at right now?
Erick Faatagi
: 310

BSN: Is that what you want to play at?
Erick Faatagi
: I feel really comfortable, really good and in shape. Being able to breathe up here – it was hard as hell at first. Tell you the truth, 310 was how big I was in high school. I haven't been this small since high school.

BSN: Can you do the power clean with the injury?
Erick Faatagi
: Not from the ground. I do hang cleans. I can squat, but as far as doing anything explosive from the ground, not yet.


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