Notre Dame's Joseph Fauria Comes Home (to UCLA)

Wanted to break in during this Independence Day with some good news.

Looks like the UCLA football team has a new transfer to welcome from Notre Dame. Josepha Fauria, a former four star TE recruit from Crespi High School, who picked Notre Dame over UCLA (couple of recruiting seasons ago) is coming home. Brian Dohn reported in the Daily News:

Fauria said Friday he is transferring to UCLA from Notre Dame, where he was not going to play this season after being suspended by the school's Office of Residence Life for a non-athletic issue.

"I'm going to end up at UCLA," he said. "I'm verbally committed."

The 6-foot-7, 250-pounder played in three games last season without catching a pass. He will have three years of eligibility remaining once he sits out the NCAA-mandated one year for transferring between Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

It also is a reunion for Bruins starting quarterback Kevin Prince and Fauria, who played together in high school. Fauria had 35 receptions for 516 yards and eight touchdowns as a Crespi senior.

Fauria, the nephew of former NFL tight end Christian Fauria, said he recently visited UCLA's campus and spoke to head coach Rick Neuheisel. He will join the Bruins for training camp in August.

"It's a great atmosphere," Fauria said. "It was my second choice coming out of high school, got a good coaching staff and the arrow is pointing up for the direction of the program."

As mentioned previously the cirumstances around why he left Notre Dame stemming from a suspension by the university's Office of Residence Life for "undisclosed disciplinary reasons" seems rather odd. Dohn called the exit "controversial, and cryptic." However, after looking into this over last few days, I don't think UCLA football fans don't have too worry too much.

The rumor that has been going around re. Fauria is that apparently he was suspended for this:

old school streaking scene (via ttgarcia0)

Uh yeah. There are references to this at Irish fan sites such as theDailyShillelagh, uhnd.com, and GoldHelmet.com. Well again these are rumors and we don't have all the facts regarding whether it was just one incident or one of multiple incidents for which Notre Dame's ResLife suspended him for an entire semester. What is clear though that a huge number of Irish fans were not happy with Notre Dame's administration and were taking Fauria's side on this.

Moreover, the widely linked Fauria post (referenced above) mentioned that Notre Dame's ResLife "has no reservoir of credibility to draw from." Note our colleagues at SBN has referred to the Blue Gray Sky as "the class of the Notre Dame internet." At this point of time we haven't flagged anything concerning Fauria that stood out as a red flag (certainly nothing even close to the kind of allegations we have seen concerning E.J. Woods or the boilerplate stuff we see coming out of the scandal ridden athletic program from cross town).

So given the fact that Coach Neuheisel's program handled the E.J. Woods situation pretty well (not giving him any kind of break), I feel comfortable about his coaches (and Morgan Center administration) doing their due diligence regarding Fauria before accepting his commitment to UCLA. Besides if Fauria was indeed suspended for doing a Will Ferrell, one would think he would fit in just fine at UCLA!

All kidding aside, Fauria left the Notre Dame football program on a classy note:

"My experience was positive, except toward the end," Fauria said. "The program was great to me. My teammates were great to me. I'm going to miss all of them.

So with that welcome to Westwood Joe. BTW, IIRC the last transfer from Notre Dame didn't work out so bad. It was Arnold Ale who was instumental in starting that unforgettable 8 game winning streak against U$C*.

He will now sit out for one season. When gets back UCLA's TE depth chart is going to look good with Fauria, (Cory) Harkey and of course Morrel Presley.

Fauria will most likely will not be the last personnel move in this busy off season. We will also wait on the news on Colorado's Josh Smith and it looks like coaches' will hold a scholarship for him (if he wants it). After it all shakes out UCLA should be right around the 85 scholarship mark at the beginning of this August Fall camp with more talent on balance compared to what was left when CRN took over in January of 2008. I call that moving in the right direction.

GO BRUINS.

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