Nico Falah arrived on campus focused, motivated and filled with excitement surrounding his prospects at US,C following an outstanding high school career at St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA) where he earned Max Preps First Team All-American honors.
“It was a bit of change for me. I’ve been here since the summer but I was a little nervous going into the fall camp phase,” Falah said, following three months of practice, drills and preparation for the upcoming season. “You can just overpower guys in high school so now I have to get lower, more technical and use better hands.”
Measuring in at 6’6″ with a 274-pound frame, Falah boasts attainable goals for an attainable physique moving forward as an offensive tackle for Troy.
“I’m not at a comfortable size right now. I want to be at 285 pounds,” Falah said, adding, “I’m trying to go in the weight room as much as I can, eat good and hopefully it’ll pay off with a weight gain.”
Adjusting to life filled with two-a-days and welcoming rituals, even four-star prospects like Falah can’t avoid the bumps on the road that come with venturing off to college.
“I’ve known them for a while and they’ve been giving me a hard time because I’m a rookie,” Falah said of thew rookie experience. “They make me bring all the waters into the team meeting room, all the drinks and food. We all go through it so I’m loving it.”
The change in scenery comes with more than just freshmen traditions and a full-fledged USC course load. Falah battles the best of his peers, who stand much bigger and stronger than the likes of Trinity League competition.
“You can’t find a weak link in the team like in high school, that’s why it becomes more technical,” Falah said. This, following a 10-0 regular season in high school before ultimately losing to eventual champions Long Beach Poly High School in the CIF Southern Section Semifinals.
Switching gears to college, Falah embarks on a major upgrade in competition across the line of scrimmage.
“You have to use your technique to beat them. Guys on the line are bigger and stronger than me so Coach Summers is teaching me how to use my pad level, how to beat them at the snap count and using my techniques to my advantage,” Falah said.
Nine days from opening kickoff, the energized freshman continues to champion for a winning cause. “I want to contribute, wherever it is, whether it’s second team, third team or wherever,” Falah said, adding, “I just want to help my teammates and help make the other side better so we can win games. No matter what it is, I want to help the team out and get better.”
Working under the likes of experienced players like John Martinez, Kevin Graf and Chad Wheeler on a daily basis, Falah continues to learn thanks to the help of his brothers on the line.
“They’re teaching me little technical stuff, which coach Summers likes and looks for in an offensive lineman,” Falah said about his early experiences. “I’ve been listening because they’ve been through it and it’s been paying off. I’m trying to get as much out of it as possible.”
Falah certainly has his worked cut out for him this season battling against the Trojans revamped and fully-loaded defensive line. The undersized freshman left tackle needs every bit of technique to earn his stripes on the practice scout team.
“All the defensive ends are my size or bigger but usually when I get my hands right, I do pretty well,” he says. “When I’m technically sound, I hold my own out there.”
As he continues to develop in the Trojan system, his hands continue to be one of the determining factors in his success. “If I place my hands properly, I can control my guy with the first meaningful touch,” said Falah, following numerous lessons with line Coach Summers. “The first touch that counts allows you to get possession of the guy. I’m trying to work on and focus on that.”
Now preparing for the final stretch of Fall Camp, Falah plans on setting major precedent along with fellow freshman lineman Khaliel Rodgers. “We’re going to be great offensive lineman by 2017,” Falah predicts for his senior season. “We’ll be a good line especially when we get older and more experienced, and we should dominate as a total offensive unit.”