Delta State's Junior Faulk Is An Interception Machine

JuniorFaulk_091119_625.jpg

One benefit to a college football team returning a veteran lineup, Delta State defensive coordinator Kelvin Green explains, is the opportunity to build “a player-led team.” 

And with Junior Faulk among the Statesmen leading the way, the defense is in good hands. 

“He’s a great young man,” Green said. “His character is amazing. Whoever gets the opportunity to coach him after me is going to be truly blessed.” 

To borrow a popular phrase from the college football lexicon, not so fast my friend. Faulk still has work to do at the college level before going to the pros. 

Faulk intercepted nine passes in 2019, breaking Delta State’s single-season record. He now sits just five shy of matching the program’s career mark, set in 2011 by Gulf South Conference All-Decade honoree Dominique Davenport. 

Faulk’s nine picks last season also tied for most in Division II — and he did so in one game less than Findlay’s Chris Jefferson and two games fewer than Bowie State’s Demetri Morsell. Faulk also broke up 13 passes and defended 22, the latter ranking an unmatched best in the nation.  

The scheduling limitations due to COVID-19 imposed on both the GSC, and college football as a whole, result in even fewer opportunities for Faulk to match his nine picks of 2019. The GSC decided last week to play a conference-only schedule, kicking off in either late September or early October. 

That adds another few weeks to what has already been a long and unusual offseason, one in which Faulk said was “frustrating, [because] you want to get out there with your brothers. [Working out] is better with them. 

“It’s not just about me,” he added. “I want to bring everybody along.”  

Faulk’s attitude that football’s better together speaks to Green’s concept of a player-led team, and reflects how Faulk has already made DSU history. 

Fellow All-Gulf South Conference honorees Zane Samuel (defensive end) and Marvin Terry (linebacker) return. More key Statesmen like Dante Williams, RJ Jarrett and Tim Hall are back from a defense that led the GSC in yards allowed (309.2), rushing yards allowed (1,220/122 per game), rushing touchdowns yielded (11) and interceptions (14). 

“The defensive line, the linebackers, man, we create a lot of havoc,” Faulk said. “People don’t know; they just see the man making the interception. But I ask you to go back and watch every snap and you have guys like Marvin Terry, Zane Samuel, Eric Sadler, Kahlil [Johnson] staying in the quarterback’s face.” 

Sadler and Johnson were seniors in 2019, but Terry and Samuel combined for 26 tackles for loss last year, with Williams adding another six. Terry also generated 10 quarterback hurries. 

The dynamic up front that creates interception opportunities for Faulk is symbiotic, too. 

“It really frees you up to make calls and to let those guys up front loose, because you understand you’ve got someone like Junior who can not only defend their guy, but can come off and make plays,” Green said. 

“The athletic ability and the mindset Junior has, my biggest thing is don’t waste it,” Green added. “Don’t try to make him a robot, let him use his God-given ability to play the game the way he knows how.” 

Faulk may not be a robot in Delta State’s defense, but he’s certainly a machine. Even ahead of an unprecedented and uncertain season, he’ll have the opportunity to make more history. Can he pick off 10 passes in 2020? 

After a laugh, he answered that question: “I think I can get twenty,” adding: “I ain’t going to try to do too much. Me playing my game is what’s gotten me here, and I’m just going to continue to do that.” 

Zac Thomas Defies Doubt On Way To The NFL

Zac Thomas

An audience of more than 100,000 rooting for you to fail isn’t the most welcoming way in which to start a new job. For Zac Thomas, these conditions set a fitting tone. 

After Pit Stop At Charlotte, Tre Harbison Is Ready For A Shot At The League

USATSI_15139933_168383134_lowres.jpg

Perhaps you have known someone, or are that someone, who wishes they took greater advantage of the learning opportunities college offers. Charlotte 49ers running back James “Tre” Harbison III, on the other hand, soaked up learning opportunities.  

How to Watch: 2021 Tropical Bowl

tropical.jpg

Here's how to watch the 2021 Tropical Bowl on FloFootball.

Ottawa's Dylan St. Pierre Ready For 2021 Tropical Bowl Opportunity

Ottawa wide receiver Dylan St. Pierre

On June 8, 2020, U SPORTS announced the cancellation of its fall sports season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

10 Players To Watch At The 2021 Tropical Bowl

USATSI_13826647_168383134_lowres.jpg

In what has been a historic football season, the next step for dozens of players is taken at the 2021 Tropical Bowl. 

2021 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl Rosters Released

Greg McCrae

Players from all over the country will head to Florida this weekend (Sunday, Jan. 17) to compete in this year's 2021 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl. 

Ryan Day Looks To Become First CAA Alumnus To Win FBS Title As Head Coach

USATSI_14731848_168383134_lowres.jpg

Ryan Day’s last game as a college quarterback had playoff implications — just not for Day. 

CAA Signing Day Rundown: JMU & Elon Bring In Biggest Classes

Jaelin Montgomery

COVID-19’s impact on the college football landscape reached far beyond the postponement of the 2020 FCS season until the spring. The early-period National Signing Day underscores the point. 

Nasir Adderley's Big Year Continues In Los Angeles

Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 11.09.21 AM.png

Former Delaware safety Nasir Adderley recorded a team-high eight tackles for the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday, highlighting the group of CAA Football players competing during Week 10 of the NFL season.

'Authentic' Liam Dobson Enjoyed Viral Moment, Primed For Big '21

EZbVWyCWsAAQBKA.jpeg

It’s easy to understand why Liam Dobson became a social-media sensation this year.