Utah Utes football: Nate Fakahafua making a big name for himself

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  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 13, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    @byron and eagle

    Well I remember Weddle seeing time on both sides of the ball. granted as a db that is different than being a DE but at least you know there is some history at utah of the coaches being willing to use a player in multiple ways if he is capable of doing it.

    I agree with byron's thoughts in that the coaches maybe didn't think he had wr speed whereas his speed is very good for a DE. Anyway I was just really impressed with this kid in high school and so I am watching with alot of interest what he does in college. I think he'll be a very good player regardless of how they eventually decided to use him.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2011 5:19 p.m.


    I'm definitely willing to give the Ute coaching staff the benefit of the doubt, just expressing an opinion. I think my opinion is an educated opinion and it's not that colleges coaches, even very good coaches like Whittingham are infallible.

    In regards to (Paul) Kruger, I saw him play several times at Timpanogos. He was a nice QB, great body for the position seemingly destined for greatness but he didn't really reach that level. As an offensive player he wasn't in Fakahafua's league--not even close. I have to give credit to Kruger though. Though he was a good player in high school, he wasn't great, many thought he didn't play up to his potential. He really stepped it up in college. I have to give the Ute coaches credit as they coached him up and he reached his full potential and exceeded expectations. Again, all to his credit. He really developed a motor, some great intensity to go with what was a great frame. Whether Fakahafua plays O or D I feel he will perform well, but just thinking he has more upside on the O side of things.

  • tdlawton Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 12, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    I don't want to lecture, but there is a huge difference between how you "use" an athlete in HS and College Football... Any sane coach in HS wants to put his best athlete in a position where they affect as many plays as possible. You want them to touch the ball on offense and/or play a position on defense were they can't be "just run away from."

    College is different you have more athletes, but you NEED more athletes especially on Defense. It is perfectly normal for a great college athlete that could be playing RB or WR to be playing CB. I would also say that a great athlete that could be playing TE is usually more valuable if he can be a stud pass rushing DE. NateF has a chance to be a stud like that in the mold of past Utes Jason Kaufusi, Koa Misi, Paul Kruger or TCU's Tommy Banks and Jerry Hughes.

    Kyle Whittingham knows exactly what he is doing.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 12, 2011 12:53 a.m.

    "Fakahafua, though, has his sights set on ever more a trip to the Rose Bowl and "hopefully a national championship."...

    Typical Utes...winning another preseason National Championship and preseason Rose Bowl titles.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Re eagle:

    Most of the players on the Ute defense were offensive stars in high school, the question is: is he better than Pedroza or some of the other kids they have coming in as receivers? My guess is they didn't think he had the speed to play receiver and they didn't see him beating out Moeai or Tonga at tight end.

    Dave Krugar was an offensive star in high school too and look how well that turned out.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    I think any player that has the tools to do something with the ball like run it, catch it or throw it should be doing such. Certainly he will make a good player. He's a stud but I think his fullest potential is on the offensive side of the ball where he can use these special gifts he possesses. lIke hohum suggested. He killed Pine View from his receiving position. He was neutralized as a defender. Great offenses or schemes can neutralize a defender. But those who saw him play against Pine View or Mountain Crest or other games during the year saw how he could go and get the ball sometimes between two and three players that were quality athletes themselves. These kind of gifts are indeed rare.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    I'm excited about this freshmen class, Faka, Langi, Dres Anderson, and Rowe could all make a big impact this year. There are a few other guys like Asiata, Murphy, and Fehoko who could end up making some noise by the end of the season too.

    I would not be surprised if these freshmen end up being the best the U has ever had.

  • hohum Saint George, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:38 p.m.

    Watched Nate play against Pine View last year. Offensivly he killed them, won the game for Highland. Defense was a different story. Pine View had 50 passing plays, 500 plus yards, not one sack or tackle for loss. By the way these were sophomores, back this year. So using Nate as a bench mark I am excited about the chances of Pine View, all of those kids are back except one.

    I know this is a college article but couldn't help building up the kids. Nate evidentily is doing well at DE and glad to see it. He was a better reciever in high school, thought the u would use him as a TE.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:16 p.m.

    This is one of the few times I disagree with Whittingham. I think Fakahafua would be better suited to be a WR/TE. He has incredible lift and great hands and a big frame. Some of the catches he made last year were simply amazing. When one can do something with the ball like he can, he needs to play in a position to do something with the ball. And maybe he can be a two-way player playing some spot plays on offense at the very least, but again I think he should be playing offense.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    Re: JustGordon

    By your rules then, Utes (and Fakahafua) have no business talking about national championships since they've never even sniffed one. Of course BYU has a unanimous NC but I guess that doesn't matter since you make the rules and 1984 was way "too long ago". Wow you Utes are funny!!

  • JustGordon Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 3:46 p.m.

    Gee, I knew the Souther Cal defense was pretty good, but I didn't know that the Montana State defensive line was also very good... Thanks for that info...luckily the Utes go down to Provo for a breather on week three.

    @ giantfan...you are exactly right! Until the boys in blue do something in 21century, even qualifying for a BCS bowl game would be ok, you don't have to win it, (Ute fans don't expect you to win it, given your bowl history), it's not ok!

    Amazing that we all agree! I am sure you will get no arguments from any Ute fan on what you have written!

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 3:02 p.m.


    "Utah plays 2 of the best defenses they will face in the first three weeks of the season and need a solid line to compete in those games."

    I knew USC's defense woud be a real challenge. PAC-12; one of the top football traditions of all time. etc. But I had NO IDEA - Montana State's will be that good. Thanks for the scouting insight.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    According to Ute fans "it's because our players are so humble and so is our coach and we've won two BCS games and we're in the Pac-12 and we don't advertise our goals but sometimes our players do make comments along those lines so in those specific cases it's ok. But it's never okay for that team down south.


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:30 p.m.



    Just what I expected one of you to post. LOL!

  • billybubba South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    @thlete and naval vet
    So in plain English it is okay for a U of U player to say it and not for a BYU player to say it. A double standard or just plain BYU haters? Oh the questions never to be answered.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    Duckhunter, Ted H:

    If you read what Thlete said, that was my response as well. But for some reason, the moderators allowed his, but not mine. Must be a different shift skulking the comment threads than the one I had upon posting MY thoughts.

    Well done Thlete.

  • chicagoborn WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    Umm Ted H. The Deseret News monitors are willing to let more things go when you talk bad about the University of Utah than when you talk about BYU such as when you mocked someone's intelligence because they went to the University of Utah. It's a shame that the Deseret News lets those kind of comments go through.

  • Thlete Draper, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    @Duckhunter, other Cougs.

    We don't criticize Fakahafua for saying the Utes will play "hopefully for a championship" in his 4 years at the school, because a few things:
    1) Utah is a BCS team and all top BCS teams have a legit shot at a NC, not the case for non-AQs as it's never been done and will never happen.
    2) He said it with humility as an ideal goal, "hopefully", as in, "it would be nice". BYU players/coaches state an NC as their only goal for the year as if anything else is a disappointment.

    Easy to see the difference.

  • Highland High Pride Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Nate is really a great kid and a standout athlete. Best of luck to him at the U. He could really go places is he plays hard and keeps his nose clean. I remember him telling me in May that he was struggling to put on that last twenty pounds. He wants to play so much and he has the great love for the sport and an energy that is unmatched on the field. I hope to see him put on the twenty pounds to elevate his potential to start. Ram to Ute, like MiP said, there really is nothing better.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    Duckhunter - Kyle Whittingham will have some private words for Nate about the National Championship comments - especially as a freshman. He doesn't put up with that kind of thing. He wants his players focused on the next game - Montana State now - and will let them have it if they go off talking national championships. As for those predicting Nate as an NFL talent -- let's see if he can put on some weight and perform in a consistent manner over the next few years before we go dubbing him NFL talent.

  • Ted H Sandy, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    Naval Vet,

    No need to ask the monitors. NO doubt it was a classy and insightful comment, like always.

    Duckhunter makes a good point however.

    The kid sounds awesome. Will be fun to watch this year.

  • Commontater Lehi, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    @ Duckhunter | 10:00 a.m. Aug. 11, 2011
    Highland, UT

    Yes, I indeed find it interesting. It can't be because Utah defected from the WMC for the PAC 12 and before BYU's later decision to go independent. It was going on before that.

    It was going on before both teams defected from the WAC to create the MWC.

    Maybe Chris B is right, it's the honor code.

    Go Cougars! Go Utes!

  • Black&Blue Hillsboro, Oregon
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    If Utah can't field a solid line, they will have a hard time keeping blitzing USC linebackers or any solid defense with a good scheme out of the backfield.

    Utah plays 2 of the best defenses they will face in the first three weeks of the season and need a solid line to compete in those games.

    Wynn does not do well under pressure, and is very fragile when taking hits. If Wynn goes down, game over.

    No fan of any sport should ever wish for injuries to the talented athletes who devote so much of their life to the game they love. I truly hope the Utah team can be 100% present healthy by the time they meet USC and BYU.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    If there is one thing that Utah excels at it's finding the right position to play for incoming freshmen. Last year it was switching Blechen from QB to safety, this year it's Fakahafua making a jump from WR to DE. If Faka can continue to make an impact at 220 lbs they wont red shirt him, especially if he can be an impact player on special teams. He wont start until he puts on 20 lbs but he could do at least 10 snaps a game in passing situations.

    Too bad they can't switch him to OL, did they really just loose 3 OGs in one day? Some of these underclassmen are going to get a shot to play sooner than anyone expected, I hope they can handle it. We need somebody to step up and take over that guard position.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:10 a.m.


    I commented, but if you want to know what I said, you'll ask the DesNews monitors.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    I watched this kid in both the state football and basketball playoffs last school year. He is a very impressive athlete. I'm a little surprised they moved him to d-end but I have no doubt that if he can put on the weight he will need he'll be very good.

    It is funny though that no utah "fans" are criticizing him for his national championship comment nor are any other ute posters criticizing andrewute for his "he is an nfl talent for sure" comment about a freshman. I guess ute players and fans are allowed those excesses, it is only BYU fans and players that need to be castigated for their optimism.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    With the depth of Utah's d-line this year (and most years) it would be a shame to waste a year of eligibility on a year where he covers punts and kick-offs. A redshirt year and 20 pounds later, Nate will be ready to go. Don't shy away from the redshirt year young fella - embrace the chance to get bigger and better and a fifth year of free school.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    Nothing better than being a Ram then a Ute.

    Go Utes!

  • Dand_Ute WEST JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Love this kid! He was incredible at the state playoffs last year and I was so excited to know he was headed to the U! It will be fun to watch him grow as a player! Good luck young man! He will go very far!

  • andrewute1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    Fakahafua will be an absolute beast. He was so dominate in the state championship game last year. He is an NFL talent for sure. Cant wait to see him play as a freshman.

  • Commontater Lehi, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 7:11 a.m.

    An observation or two! FYI, I do read both Utah and BYU articles because I'm excited for both teams and hope they do well each year.

    1) I hope this young man gets an opportunity to play in front of his home crowd. I'm sure ALL athletes would enjoy that opportunity to perform in front of family and friends.

    2) Don't you find it interesting that this article was posted at 11:28PM last night and that neither a BYU or Utah troll has mentioned that, wait, did I read the article right, where Nate said he "has his sights set on ever more a trip to the Rose Bowl and "hopefully a national championship."?

    Does this mean that no one cares about what the Utah players say, what Utah does, and what their goals are? Or, does it mean that only Utah fans care what BYU players say, what BYU does, and what their goals are?

    No arguing, please!

    Isn't it nice to just read the article and see the progression of a good young man and throw him a compliment "bone" instead of dissecting every word he speaks. Keep it classy!

    Go Utes! Go Cougars!

  • SoCalUtesJazzFan Irvine, CA
    Aug. 11, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    ...Fakahafua, though, has his sights set on ever more a trip to the Rose Bowl and "hopefully a national championship."...

    Hope to see you at the Rose Bowl game in Jan.

    What a great kid---4.0 GPA and all.

    Go Utes!!!