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Joseph Fauria looks to crack lineup and crack up teammates

If you see Kevin Prince crack a smile on the field for no apparent reason, you might have a pretty good idea which teammate is behind it.

He’s Joseph Fauria, UCLA’s 6-foot-7 tight end and resident good humor man.

“He’s always trying to make somebody laugh,” Prince said of the sophomore transfer from Notre Dame. “We’ve got inside jokes going back to high school.”

The former Encino Crespi High teammates also have a history of big plays dating to their freshman year in the San Fernando Valley, when Prince would lob passes into the end zone and his towering teammate would grab them over considerably smaller defensive backs.

The duo connected on a similar 10-yard touchdown pass during UCLA’s scrimmage Sunday.

“As long as I stay healthy,” Fauria said, “I don’t see why we can’t do that more often.”

Avoiding injuries has been a problem in spring practice. Fauria missed a few days with a groin injury that he aggravated during the scrimmage, and he sat out the second half of Tuesday’s practice after injuring a finger on his right hand while making a block. He was scheduled to undergo X-rays later in the evening.

His vocal cords are just fine, though, meaning his teammates will continually be subjected to a volley of quips.

“He’s just a goofy guy,” tight end Cory Harkey said, “but we all love him.”

Double threat

Junior receiver Nelson Rosario will turn in his shoulder pads for a singlet Saturday when he competes for the Bruins in a dual track meet against Oregon in Eugene.

Rosario hopes to clear 6 feet 9 in the high jump and soar at least 25 feet in the long jump, his favorite event. He said it is challenging to transition between football and track “because you’re going from a team sport to somewhat of an individual [sport] with an emphasis on technique.”

So why do it?

“They told me when I was being recruited that I would have an opportunity to do both,” he said, “so I’m holding them to their word. And I enjoy it. It’s only going to make me better.”

ben.bolch@latimes.com


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