Did anyone catch that adult joke in one of the commercials near the beginning of the game? "We also have a big caucus. A really, really big caucus! The biggest caucus in America! But not too big to handle."
Career Recap: The redshirt senior Fauria has been a solid player for the Bruins the past two seasons. He started out his collegiate career at Notre Dame before transferring to UCLA. The Los Angeles Times wrote an article that Fauria had been kicked out of Notre Dame, but the full story hasn't been reported.
Fauria sat out the 2009 season because of the transfer, and he was mostly a backup in 2010. Fauria broke out last year with a strong performance. He was UCLA's second leading receiver in 2011, catching 39 passes for 481 yards and six touchdowns. Fauria and Corey Harkey split time while both contributed as run blockers.
2012 Season Outlook:
UCLA is expecting Fauria to take on a bigger role in 2012. Harkey has moved on to the next level, and Fauria should get to showcase more of his blocking ability in 2012. He is likely to be one of the primary receivers for the Bruins offense.
Veteran assistant Noel Mazzone is the new offensive coordinator. Last year running the Arizona State offense, he led the Sun Devils to the 10th ranked passing offense (316.7 yards per game) in college football. Mazzone was a wide receivers coach with the New York Jets from 2006-2008, so he should be inclined to pass the ball often. Fauria will benefit with increased targets.
Fauria is a well-rounded tight end. He has excellent size with real athletic ability. Fauria is a quality receiver who combines nice quickness with solid hands and route-running. He is a good red-zone threat, too. His six touchdowns last year were the most by a UCLA tight end since Marcedes Lewis (10) in 2005. Fauria's strength is his receiving ability, and with passing-threat tight ends being in vogue in the NFL, he stands to benefit from the trend.
With his size and strength, Fauria has the makings to be a good blocking tight end as well. He has a nice start as a blocker, but will need to continue to improve for the next level.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Fauria looks like a second-day pick entering his senior season. If he duplicates his junior year production, he should at least be a third-round pick. Fauria doesn't look like he has the unique athleticism that is necessary to be a first-round tight end. He has good NFL bloodlines. His uncle, Christian, had a 13-year career in the NFL.