UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria, left, reaches for a pass intended for him along with Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer during the second half of their
UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria, left, reaches for a pass intended for him along with Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer during the second half of their NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. The pass was incomplete. Oregon State won 27-20. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (Associated Press)

There is going to be a highly skilled and physically imposing tight end named Fauria playing at Folsom Field on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Buffs, Christian Fauria is out of eligibility.

But the former Colorado star is very proud of what his nephew Joseph Fauria is starting to accomplish at UCLA.

The Bruins (3-1) are preparing this week to play the Buffs (1-3) in Boulder for the first time as a Pac-12 rival (4 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

"I think he's playing OK. Obviously, I grade a lot tougher than most," Christian said of Joseph during a recent interview with the Camera. "He can do a lot better though. The upside for him is ridiculous as far as what he's capable of with the skills he has."

In three games this season, Joseph Fauria has 11 receptions for 142 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound senior only had two catches for 20 yards in UCLA's 27-20 home loss to Oregon State on Saturday.

Bruins redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley threw 42 times for 372 yards. The Beavers shut down UCLA's fifth-ranked rushing attack (72 net yards).

"I don't think they use Joseph enough. I yell at the TV all the time," Christian Fauria said. "He's physically imposing and he has phenomenal hands. He's tall, he's not afraid to get hit, and he's deceptively fast for a guy that big."

Sounds a lot like Christian Fauria. At CU he had 98 catches for 1,458 yards (14.87 per) and 12 touchdowns catching passes from Kordell Stewart.


The 1994 Buffs are considered to be the most talented team in school history. The team went 11-1 that season, Fauria's senior year, with the tight end helping block for Rashaan Salaam's successful 2,000-yard Heisman Trophy campaign.

The current Buffs are rebuilding from the ashes of six consecutive losing seasons, but the team is coming off a galvanizing 35-34 victory at Washington State.

Christian Fauria, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, was no doubt smiling as tight end Nick Kasa was churning down field for a 70-yard touchdown to help spark the comeback.

Fauria, who lives in the Boston area and does a pre- and post-game Patriots show, said it was difficult to follow the Buffs from afar as Jon Embree's second season began with losses to Colorado State, Sacramento State and Fresno State.

However, the 13-year NFL veteran believes the coaching staff can make CU football relevant again on the recruiting trail.

"Take out the football program, Boulder is just a great place to go to school," Fauria said. "A lot of people don't know about it and don't care to. But half our team was from California and Texas. We were getting the kids that usually went to Texas, Notre Dame and USC.

"The effort is there. I know they have a great coaching staff. All they need is the players."

Rick Neuheisel, Christian Fauria's coach at CU, also coached Joseph Fauria last season. He was fired and replaced by Jim Mora Jr., whose father was once an assistant for the Buffs.

"I'm a Joseph Fauria fan," Christian Fauria said when asked about Neuheisel. "I think Rick did a good job. Rick recruited very well. Mora has obviously brought a different attitude to that team that was lacking."

Fauria is also an Embree fan. He was in agreement with Bill McCartney last week when the legendary CU coach preached patience to the fan base before the breakthrough win over Washington State.

"Look at McCartney and at how long it took him to build it. He suffered a lot in those early years," Fauria said. "I know they have the right coach. They need to give him some more support and hopefully they don't pull the plug after three years."

Pac-12 fan

"I love it," Fauria, a 1990 graduate of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif., said of CU's move to the Pac-12. "I wish we would have been in the Pac-12 because I could have gone home to play every year.

"I always thought Colorado was more of a West Coast school anyway."


Embree's son Taylor played with Joseph Fauria last season at UCLA. Both Embree and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy were assistants for the Bruins before coaching in the NFL and then returning to their alma mater.

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