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Get to know Lyman Faoliu, defensive end

The junior college transfer should be a staple of the defensive line rotation from day one.

Mike Breske
Mike Breske
WSU Athletic Communications

Lyman Faoliu isn't a name that garnered a lot of attention when he committed and subsequently signed with WSU out of College of San Mateo last December, but he's a guy you'll probably see a lot of on the field right out of the gate.

Defensive coordinator Mike Breske seems to love just adding athletic bodies to the pile when it comes to the front seven, and Faoliu certainly fits the bill. This is a junior college player who was brought in to play immediately. He enrolled in January and was listed as second at defensive end behind redshirt senior Matthew Bock on the initial spring depth chart, which ought to give you some idea of how Breske views Faoliu's potential.

Here's what coach Mike Leach had to say about Faoliu after he signed:

"Incredible worker just like guys from College of San Mateo are. … Working very hard now and we’re excited to already have him on campus."

Let's get to know Lyman Faoliu.

Faoliu's WSU Career

No career to speak of yet!

2012 Retrospective

Faoliu was obviously at his junior college in 2012, but he enrolled at semester and was able to participate in spring practices. There's really not a lot out there in terms of what he accomplished over those 15 practices, other than the three tackles he recorded in the spring game.

Although defensive end isn't the pure edge rusher in Breske's system, I'd personally have been happier if Faoliu had joined in the sack fest up at Albi. Spring game caveats aside, he was matched up most often with Jacob Seydel and he struggled to disengage from blockers. Reason for concern? Probably not. Without fresh bodies to rotate in, rushing the passer down after down after down wears a guy out.

What to expect in 2013

Faoliu almost certainly will be a staple of the defensive line rotation at defensive end. From looking at his junior college video, it seems his strength is rushing the passer, even if his technique seems a bit unrefined -- he only had a pair of sacks last season. (That's not unusual for junior college transfers, by the way.) On running plays, he showed good outside leverage a few times, turning the runner back inside then shedding his block to go make a play. He flashes good closing speed.

It's tough to speak definitively on these matters, but Faoliu looks an awful lot like a guy Breske will use situationally on passing downs to turn loose and rush the quarterback.

All-Star tweet

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Loved leading the Haka at CSM. Going to miss it. <a href=";src=hash">#TuWhakamauaKiaTina</a> =P <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; L.Y. (@TheMindOfLY) <a href="">July 19, 2013</a></blockquote>
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More on Faoliu and the Haka here.

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