Big man TD: Daniel Faalele recalls rushing TD during Minnesota's bowl game
Former Minnesota offensive lineman Daniel Faalele had one of the best highlights of the college football bowl season this past year. The 6-foot-9, 380-pound offensive lineman lined up in Minnesota’s backfield in a goal-line situation, took a handoff and ran into the end zone for his first-ever touchdown.
That play occurred in Minnesota’s win over West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, helping close out a 9-4 campaign in 2021. Not only did the touchdown help the Gophers secure a victory, but it was also a great way for Faalele to close out his career in the Twin Cities.
Earlier this week, Faalele joined the Glenn Clark Radio Show and was asked to reflect on that moment at the end of the season.
“We kinda installed that play late in our preparation — probably the Thursday before the game. For me, I just wanted to take it as an opportunity for one of the big guys to get a touchdown and the whole offensive line supported that and wanted to get that for me,” Faalele said. “And then once I had the opportunity to do it in the game, the only thing going through my mind was I really don’t want to just slip and fall. … Either way, it’s gonna go viral. Luckily, I was able to stay on my feet and get in the end zone.”
In Minnesota's bowl game, @DanielFaalele_ had the opportunity to score a touchdown. He says the team installed the play late in prep and that when he had the chance to score, he just didn't want to slip and fall. He says he's ready if the Ravens count on him for a big-man TD. pic.twitter.com/kzCUAOcgrq
— Glenn Clark (@GlennClarkRadio) May 12, 2022
DANIEL FAALELE TOUCHDOWN pic.twitter.com/mTmdVHeE52
— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB) December 29, 2021
Faalele competed in 34 career games while at Minnesota and made 31 starts during his time with the program. He developed into one of the top offensive linemen in the B1G while with the Gophers.
Last month, Faalele was selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He was the first Minnesota offensive lineman to be selected in the draft since 2006.