IMG Academy had their 2017 spring high school football game on Thursday night versus East Ridge, defeating the Kights 49-20. It was 2018 offensive tackle Daniel Faalele’s first action in a game since coming to the US from Australia, but he looked like a ‘man among boys’ out on the field.
Before Faalele even stepped played a single down of football on Thursday night, he has over 21 scholarship offers from FBS programs across the country. And it didn’t take long to see why, as the 6 foot 8.5 and 396 lbs, 17-year-old offensive lineman dwarfed the other players. He used that size and strength to his advantage and dominated in the trenches. Here are his highlights from IMG Academy’s spring football game.
UGA was one of the first eight programs to offer Faalele back on January 24th, and the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach, Sam Pittman, talks to the Aussie on a regular basis. How does he feel about UGA? Faalele told the DawgNations’ Jeff Sentell that after visiting the Bulldogs in Athens that Georgia stood out among other programs he has visited.”
“Georgia was definitely a standout just from a personal level with the atmosphere going around there and the coaches they have there… I just already feel very comfortable there just with the coaching staff and the facilities there… With them being the number one college town it is a great place. I just already feel very comfortable there. … They showed me a lot of love there and (with that tweet) I just wanted to express how I felt about them. There’s just something about (that place) I already like.”
But if the big man does commit to Georgia, or wherever he chooses to play his college football at, fans should not expect him to come in and vie for a start or significant playing time right away. Faalele has all the potential to be a great offensive lineman with his size and an enormous wingspan, which enables him to use his power and strength to maul opponents, but he still has a long way to go as far as technique. And that is a scary thought for defensive linemen. Right now, what we see from Faalele is raw, untapped potential. When his football knowledge catches up with his physicality… whoa nelly.
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