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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Asi Faoa led by NFL Dream

Faoa led by NFL dream

Richard Obert
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Asi Faoa, at 6 feet 4, 275 pounds, would be the most intimidating figure in the courtroom. His size alone would win arguments.

But law school is on hold while the Rattlers fullback/linebacker gets football out of his system.

Faoa, who has also been used on the line, is 25, in the prime of his athletic life and he'd like a shot at the NFL.
After this season, he said he's going to see about getting into an NFL camp, where the versatile Faoa would play anything from special teams to defensive end.

"He's holding his own," said line coach Ed Flanagan, who discovered the former UCLA player in San Diego coaching in the af2 last year. "I personally think the kid can make it in the NFL, because there are so many things he can do."

Rattlers coach Gene Nudo calls Faoa his "swing" player, because of that versatility. Even at his size, he can play the gunner on special teams. He is fast, athletic. He might be best at defensive line, but, for now, the Rattlers have him at fullback, where his value comes blocking for quarterback Sherdrick Bonner.

"Right now, I'm fully healthy and the coaches are seeing what I'm capable of doing," said Faoa, who has a political science degree from UCLA, where he played defensive end. "I'm blocking well on offense.

"Pass blocking was really new to me. But playing af2 last year helped me learn that."

Faoa, a former student body president at Magnolia High in Anaheim, who was selected by the Orange County Register in 1998 as the male Athlete of the Year, said he is interested in some day becoming a lawyer.

"That's definitely one of my dreams, off the field," Faoa said. "But no time soon. I want to play football. I've done this for 13 years in my life. It's a pain to do it, but I love it. I want to keep playing as long as I can."

He said he is driven to get into an NFL camp this summer.

"I'm confident in my abilities," Faoa said. "I've never had a shot. I'll play anything, whatever will get me in the NFL. It's not that I don't like it here. I love it here. My heart is here during the Arena season. But after the season, I've got to see if I can make it in the NFL."

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