Troy Fautanu Has a Big Chore Ahead of Him — Playing as a Much Larger Guy

Dan Raley

Troy Fautanu looked like a tight end masquerading as an offensive tackle before he left his Las Vegas suburbs for Seattle.

Don't take that wrong, because the Liberty High School player bound for the University of Washington was highly effective at what he did, repeatedly pulling and pancaking opponents in the desert. It was nonstop.

Now nearly 24 months later, with some serious weightlifting and an unplanned foot surgery under his belt, Fautana needs a bigger belt.

With a 6-foot-4, 302-pound frame, the redshirt freshman is nearly 40 pounds heavier than he was entering his final Liberty season. 

With all that added collegiate grist, it's time for Fautana to show what he can do for the Huskies. 

The big question: Can he still move with the ability he showed before as a 4-star recruit? Can he mow down the people opposite him with his quick feet and his perchance for punishing whomever gets in his way.

With three starting jobs open on the UW offensive line entering the coming season, there's no reason Fautanu can't compete for extended minutes. 

"I'm best at run-blocking and being able to move guys off the ball," he told a recruiting analyst.

This is the 60th profile of a returning Washington football player, each of which can be found on the site by scrolling back. While the pandemic has interrupted and delayed team activities, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated offers continuous coverage of the team.

While stuck at home like the rest of his UW teammates during the pandemic, Fautanu appeared agile and fully healed as he showed off some creative dance steps in this TikTok video. 

He came to Washington as Nevada's top offensive-line prospect, playing four years at Liberty High in Henderson, Nevada, helping the Lancers compile a 41-10 record. He was no secret to anyone, pulling in 18 offers. 

Narrowing his choices to four schools, he picked the Huskies over USC, Utah and UCLA. They did a good job of telling him what he wanted to hear. 

"Going through this, I made sure I was open-minded," he said. "Washington just felt like a good fit."

While he's got that nasty streak in the heat of the battle, Fautanu has a sense of humor away from the action, as this Twitter video revealed.

Fautanu didn't appear in any UW games in 2019 as he remade his body and rehabbed his foot. It was a transformative year for him. It's show-us-who-you-are now. 

It's time to take him to a so-calle Pac-12 restaurant and see what he orders. If it's pancakes, the Huskies will be pleased.

SUMMARY: Fautanu was lean and mean in high school. He's with the big boys now and become a much larger player. Will he be effective with all of that added bulk or have to slim down to play  tackle?

GRADE (1 to 5): He gets a 2.5. He's got promise, but he hasn't played, hence the lower assessment. If he's as good as advertised, Fautanu will make it all work. 

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Comments (3)
No. 1-2
monkeyarms
monkeyarms

It's amazing how much natural growth a boy/man goes through between high school and the first year of college. I graduated from high school weighing about 170 lbs. By the time I finished my freshman year of CC football, in December, I was a rock-solid 195. I graduated at 17 years old, but still the transition is usually quite pronounced.

Dan Raley
Dan Raley

Editor

I was a small-college center at 205. No forearms.


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