Tying Up Loose Ends

Joseph Fauria was happy to find out he doesn't have to do his own laundry when he gets to Notre Dame. The four-star tight end from Encino, Calif., also had some medical questions and other issues answered, "parent stuff," he called it, as the Fauria's entertained Irish head coach Charlie Weis and assistant coach Brian Polian at their home Sunday evening.

It was the first day college coaches could make in-home visits.

"It went great," Joseph Fauria said. "Got a lot of questions answered between my parents and myself. It was positive meeting."

The highlight, Fauria doesn't have to clean his own clothes.

"I'm dreading the day I have to," he laughed.

Weis and Polian stayed and chit-chatted for a little over an hour.

"I had a good time," Fauria said. "There were a couple laughs, some reminiscing, talking about the future. I can't wait to get out there."

For Fauria, it was weird having Weis in his house when he first arrived.

"At first, I used to watch him on TV, coaching in the NFL and stuff like that," Fauria said. "It's just weird being recruited by him, then committing to his school and having him inside my house. It's really different."

Fauria said he won't be taking his official visit to Notre Dame for the banquet, Dec. 8. He plans to still be playing football, but will make it to South Bend shortly after his season ends. Fauria also stated that he's staying away from all-star games.

The 6-foot-7, 250-pound Fauria and his Crespi High teammates have been hot as of late, beating national powerhouse Santa Ana Mater Dei, 48-26 last Friday night, in Pac 5 Division quarterfinal play. They play Anaheim Servite in the semifinals this weekend. If the Celts win it all, they could be one of six schools nominated to play in the California State Championships.

Fauria played a huge role in the win, pulling in touchdown receptions of 40 and 23 yards. He also helped put a lot of pressure on Mater Dei's junior quarterback Matt Barkley, a Notre Dame recruit. The defense held him to just two completions on his first 10 attempts, for 23 yards and an interception, as Crespi forced three turnovers and built a 24-0 lead.

"My team played awesome," Fauria said. "Our defense is playing phenomenal. We're only allowing around 11 points per game and getting better each week. Our offense is getting better with our sophomore quarterback. We're working hard and getting better every day."

For a second-straight year, Crespi quarterback and Fauria's best friend Kevin Prince is out with an injury for the state playoffs. But the team is rallying around the sophomore replacement after a first round exit last season.

Through all the success, Fauria had to deal with a slight distraction.

Recently, Fauria was blindsided by reporters approaching him about a de-commitment from Notre Dame.

"There was some crazy stuff going on, people saying I wasn't going to Notre Dame," Fauria began. He lives in the heart of USC country. "I don't know where that came from. I was approached by some reporters. Some people don't want me going there because of their record."

Fauria is as solid as ever, and said that Polian and tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee will be back at his house real soon. He and Weis talked briefly about Notre Dame's 3-9 season.

"He just pointed out that they ended on a good note and are moving forward," Fauria said. The Irish won their final two games of the season. "Obviously he's not afraid to play young talent, freshmen, and that's always a good thing."

So is not doing your own laundry.

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