Defensive Tackle - 6’3”, 293 lbs. - Santa Ana, California - Senior
Filling out a dangerous defensive line at tackle, Austin Faoliu is an unsung hero amongst a star-studded defensive front. Playing alongside names like Kayvon Thibodeaux and Jordon Scott can leave one caught up in their wake, however, the senior has an opportunity to make his name just as well known.
As a junior, Faoliu already felt like a seasoned vet. He had already seen playing time in 23 games, totaling 749 snaps in his first two seasons as a Duck. Year three, Faoliu played in 13 games and started in eight. Of his 39 tackles total, five were for a loss and two were sacks.
He seemed to get beter as the season wore on, tallying 25 tackles, four tackles for a loss, and two sacks in the final five games of the season. Faoliu helped Oregon finish No. 13 nationally against the run, a unit that held five opponents to under 100 yards. His top performance came Week 9 against Arizona State, where he totaled six tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Faoliu graded out as one of the top run-defenders in the Pac-12 according to Pro Football Focus. His 90.5 grade against the run put him third among defensive linemen in the Pac-12 and 13th across all of FBS football.
In the 11 games Faoliu played in, he started in six, finishing with 42 tackles, two tackles for a loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass deflection.
Week 2 against Portland State the sophomore led Oregon in tackles with seven, a career-high. He later matched his career-high in tackles Week 8 against Utah. Faoliu finished second on the team in forced fumbles with two.
The first-year Ducks’ 315 snaps in 2017 were eighth most among freshman defensive lineman across the NCAA. Playing in all 12 games and starting in two, Faoliu made 22 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. He recorded his first career sack against Utah in a surprising 41-20 win in Eugene.
Entering as a freshman, Faoliu weighed 289 lbs. That may not be your typical size for a running back, but as a sophomore at JSerra High School, he touted the rock. In his sophomore year, Faoliu ran for 351 yards and four touchdowns on 48 carries. The consensus three-star prospect transferred to Mater Dei High School where he’d be named to the Orange County Register’s All-County team.
He finished his senior season with 32 tackles, 9 TFL, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Ranked as the No. 58 player in the state of California and the No. 52 defensive tackle according to ESPN, he decided to stay on the west coast so he could remain close to home. Choosing Oregon over Power 5 programs like Oklahoma, Texas and Michigan State, to name a few.