The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 13, 2013

Faifili bringing positive vibes to Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Life is good these days for Kansas linebacker Samson Faifili.

He started his first game for the Jayhawks last Saturday against South Dakota, making four tackles in a 31-14 season-opening victory. He’s on scholarship, playing football at the Division I level and, most important, doesn’t have to worry about pinching pennies.

That wasn’t always the case.

Faifili grew up in Hawaii but moved to Utah when he was 13. After he graduated from high school, Faifili took a year off from school and moved again, this time to Sacramento, Calif. He eventually enrolled at American River College, but his first five months were about survival.

“When I got to California all I had was $200 to last me a few months,” Faifili recalled this week. “(I was) skipping meals and drinking lots of water.”

When he enrolled in school, Faifili didn’t have residency for the first three semesters, so he had to pay out-of-state tuition — about $5,000 that he had to cobble together.

So, yes, he’s loving life at Kansas, where he’s on scholarship and the school provides his meals.

But how did a kid from in Hawaii end up here after stops in Utah and California? Partially because of Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o, Faifili’s cousin.

Te’o played for current Kansas coach Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

“He did talk to me about coming here, what kind of coach Coach Weis is,” Faifili said. “He trusts coach. That played a little part of me coming here.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014

  • Players elect new executive director

    Michele Roberts has watched basketball for as long as she can remember. It was an easy choice growing up in a home with one TV and two older brothers....

    July 30, 2014

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit

    CHICAGO — The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Yanks hold off Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Brett Gardner had four hits to go with a tremendous sliding catch and the New York Yankees held on for a 12-11 victory at Texas on Tuesday night in spite of J.P. Arencibia’s seven RBIs. Gardner had a leadoff homer and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Twins pick up undrafted arm ‘out of nowhere’

    SAN FRANCISCO — In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs but has never been drafted....

    July 30, 2014