Energized San Diego State Football Program
During his final two years at Carver High, Faulk rushed 1,800 yards and scored thirty-two touchdowns. Because Faulk played for a mediocre high school team, his talents weren't widely recognized. Some college powerhouses, nonetheless, came knocking. The only problem was, the colleges wanted to recruit Faulk to play defensive back. After all, during his senior year at Carver, while playing cornerback, Faulk snagged eleven interceptions, returning six for touchdowns. Faulk, however, yearned to play offense.
"I didn't love playing cornerback, so I knew I wouldn't be as successful in that position," Faulk told Sports Illustrated for Kids. "You have to really love what you do to be a star."
Finally, San Diego State offered Faulk the chance to play running back, and he jumped at the opportunity. Faulk joined the San Diego State Aztecs during the fall of 1991. During the second game of the season, the starting running back left the game after an injury. Faulk took over. He rushed for 386 yards on thirty-seven carries—an NCAA Division I-A single game rushing record—to score seven touchdowns. The record, however, was broken before the end of the season.
Faulk got off to a tremendous start, but things went downhill. In the sixth game of the season, he collapsed a lung and fractured two ribs. The injuries forced Faulk out of the next three games. Despite his shortened season, Faulk still ended up with 1,429 rushing yards for the year. He averaged 158.8 yards per game, an NCAA freshman-record average. He was named an Associated Press first-team All-American—only the third freshman to receive the honor.
Faulk's energizing presence on the field helped boost the status of the San Diego State football program. The number of season ticket holders skyrocketed, and networks began broadcasting their games, boosting the athletic department's funds.
His sophomore year, Faulk won his second NCAA rushing title, becoming only the fifth player to win back-to-back NCAA rushing titles. That season, he also came out of his shell as a skilled receiver, catching eighteen passes for 128 yards.
Riding a huge wave of success, Faulk decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Though he had only played three seasons with the Aztecs, he owned the school's records for rushing touchdowns (57) and rushing yards (4,589).
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