Transitioning from guard to tackle heading into his senior season, Emerald Faletuipapai (Fall-a-too-ee-pa-pie) has noticed some key differences between the positions but has done the work to help improve his technique.
“I noticed it’s a lot more footwork. I have more space to deal with playing tackle and I’m playing against faster defensive ends,” Faletuipapai said. “This summer I even worked out with the defensive backs a little bit to try and get my feet quicker.”
One of the defensive ends Faletuipapai has to face off against each day is teammate Nick Usher, a rush end with an offer from Oregon State.
“I think he’s a top defensive end. He’s fast, quick and works extremely hard out here.”
For Faletuipapai, the position change and his hard work ethic have helped him garner one official offer so far, but he says he is remaining focused on the task at hand and will let the process play out.
“Hawaii offered me and that’s my only offer right now,” he said. “I was speechless, but for right now I’m not really worried about what’s going on with colleges and everything. I’m just focused on working hard on the field and thinking about college later.”
Faletuipapai doesn’t plan to take any official visits during the season, keeping his options open until after the season.
“I’m just open to any college. Any college is good for me but most likely I’m going to look for the education first and then the football and athletics afterwards.”
Junipero Serra kicked off the season with a 26-23 win against Notre Dame Sherman Oaks and will face Long Beach Poly this Friday.