TE Prospect Has NFL Uncle

Joseph Fauria, the 6-7, 243-pound tight end prospect from Encino (Calif.) Crespi, is the nephew of veteran NFL tight end Christian Fauria, and his uncle is the one who inspired him to play college football. With the attention he's getting, it looks like it's going to happen...

Encino (Calif.) Crespi tight end Joseph Fauria (6-7, 243), was five years old when he was sitting at his grandparents house and his uncle Christian received a call from the Seattle Seahawks telling him that they were drafting him in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft. At that young age, Joseph said he knew he wanted to do the same.

"I remember, I think it was I was five, my uncle got drafted and we were having this huge party and we were all going crazy and even then I said I was going to play college football," said Fauria.

Ole Miss became the first school to make that statement more of a reality when they offered Fauria a scholarship a few weeks ago. More schools are beginning to throw their name in the ring for Fauria as well.

"I've been talking a lot with UCLA," said Fauria. "It was a funny story. I hadn't been invited but my teammate E.J. Woods was and one of the coaches told E.J. to call me and so I rushed over there as fast as I can and made a good impression. I got a good vibe from the coaching staff. They said once they get my transcripts and my highlight video, they could be offering me."

Fauria also attended USC's Junior Day this past weekend and he's keeping an eye on the Trojans. "Staying close to home is always a good thing," said Fauria. "I had just gotten a few letters from USC before. But I'm definitely interested in them."

Oregon and Washington have been frequent letter-writers to Fauria, though he says Nebraska has been the most active. "I've probably gotten 100 letters from Nebraska," said Fauria.

Other schools that he's hoping to hear from are Notre Dame and Cal. "I've been wanting to be contacted by Notre Dame. I had the privilege of meeting Coach (Charlie) Weis when he was in New England coaching my uncle. And I've met some of the coaching staff at Cal and that would be a great school to go to. It would be great to be with (former Crespi teammate) D.J. (Holt). He taught me a lot on offense and defense and I really looked up to him."

Surprisingly, Fauria hasn't heard anything from Colorado, where his uncle was an all-American for the Buffs.

With tremendous size and strength, Fauria feels that his years of observing NFL tight ends as well as those at the collegiate level give him the confidence to play the position in college. "I try to emulate a lot of tight ends, like Joe Newton (Oregon State) and Matt Spaeth (Minnesota). I would watch them the whole time. And of course, when I watch the NFL I watch my uncle. I'll call him a day after the game and mess with him and tell him all the stuff he did wrong. I love watching the tight end block on runs and passes. I love how they're used. I want to go to a school that uses their tight end a lot."

That's just one of the things that Fauria is focusing on. "Academics are always a good thing and so is the area, Fauria said. " Is it going to be snowing all the time or does it have good weather. The coaching staff is a big deal for me, especially the tight ends coach. Where has he been and has he been coaching for a while. Of course the head coach and the overall tradition of the football school. Have they been winning lately?"

Fauria said that no school has indicated a desire to see him move to defense and he has reservations about that side of the ball as it is. "I think that playing defense would waste my talents," said Fauria. "Playing defense would put my hands to no use. I use my good hands to my advantage."

Fauria said he doesn't anticipate making a decision any time soon. "I keep saying that I want to wait until the last second and that's what I think I'm going to do. But if a good school offers me early, and I feel it, and my family agrees with it, then I'll decide earlier," said Fauria.

As a junior, Fauria had 22 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns in a run-oriented offense.

This spring, he's planning on attending the Scout.com Combine in Los Angeles. "I'm real close to my quarterback Kevin Prince and we made this little pact that we're going to be working out together, getting a trainer and same with E.J.," said Fauria. "We're going to the Scout.com combine and we talked about the Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Washington and UCLA camps."

Bruin Report Online Top Stories