Linebacker Fa’avae Fa’avae
Linebacker Fa'avae Fa'avae
Fa'avae Fa'avae is a star at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., and he has a goal of one day playing in the National Football League.

Where he goes in between has not yet been determined, but the three-star linebacker is closing in on that decision.

"I want to make a decision a little sooner than expected," he said, adding he wants to decide before his senior season at Mater Dei's begins on Aug. 19. "I've been talking it over with my family. I think I'm close to my decision. I still want to take a lot of unofficial visits, as much as I can."

Fa'avae currently has 14 scholarship offers, and Colorado is near the top of his list.

"Colorado, Arizona State, Louisville, Washington State and Boise State - that's the top (five) that's recruited me the heaviest," he said.

At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Fa'avae has played outside linebacker in high school, but said he will be more of a "rover" backer this year, playing inside and outside. In college, he envisions himself playing either inside backer or at strong safety. According to, Fa'avae had 11 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and two defensive touchdowns (one fumble return, one interception return) last season.

Fa'avae would love to follow in the footsteps of another Polynesian player, Troy Polamalu, who had a brilliant 12-year career as a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He said he could also see himself in the mold of Arizona Cardinals standout Deone Bucannon, who has played safety and inside linebacker and has the same build as Fa'avae.


While he has yet to visit Boulder, Fa'avae said CU is high on his list because he loves what the Buffs have to offer.

"I like the Buffs a lot," he said. "They have a lot of history. They had a Samoan quarterback, Sal Aunese, back in the day. I would love to bring his tradition back and what he had to offer for the Buffs.

"Their defense is rising. I really like what they have to offer in their defensive scheme."

Fa'avae said he plans to visit Boulder at some point in July and potentially take an official visit when CU hosts a Pac-12 opponent this fall. He said he has developed good relationships with the coaches at CU and is starting to hear a lot from quarterback commit Tyler Lytle, who plays for rival Servite High.

"He's recruiting me heavy trying to get me up there to Boulder and commit," Fa'avae said. "They're on a roll right now in terms of commitments for the 2017 class."

It's possible Fa'avae could join Lytle and others in pledging their commitment to the Buffs.

"I want to play with people who are on the same mission as me - going to the NFL and winning the Rose Bowl and national championship," he said. "If everybody is on the same boat and we're all trying to get to one place and not one foot in, one foot out, it means a lot."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or

Check out Fa'avae's highlights below: