PUEBLO, Colo. (KXRM) — At 34 years old, CSU Pueblo senior kicker Dean Faithfull just wants to be ‘a part of the boys’ who are mostly 10 or more years younger than him.
“There are moments where it’s a little bit strange,” Faithfull said. “I didn’t want to be the old man. I wanted to fit in.”
“He talks a little funny, too, and we’re lucky to have that,” CSU Pueblo head coach John Wristen said. “He’s got a great spirit to him. I value him being a great teammate for us.”
After four years of playing soccer for Florida Institute of Technology from 2007-2010, the England native was informed that his alma mater’s football program was in need of a kicker.
“I happened to visit my old coach in Florida,” Faithfull said. “He happened to say to me, ‘Florida Tech need a kicker. Are you interested?’ At first, I laughed.”
Faithfull trained for the opportunity, which, like the Florida Tech football program during the coronavirus pandemic, was eliminated.
But bad news for Faithfull and Florida Tech meant a chance for CSU Pueblo to bring on the strong-legged Brit. As a Division II athlete, Faithfull is allowed 10 semesters to compete. After exhausting eight playing the European style of football, he had two left to try American football.
Through CSU Pueblo’s first eight games of the 2021 season, more than half of Faithfull’s kickoff attempts (39) have resulted in touchbacks (21). He’s also 7-of-10 on field-goal tries, including a career-long 45-yard conversion against New Mexico Highlands.
His range could be much farther than that. Before the season began, Faithfull drilled a 67-yard field goal in practice.
While the leg is obvious, the appreciation is, too.
“The one thing about being 34 is I don’t take a minute for granted,” Faithfull said. “Every training session, even being (in a press conference), every game. I’m emotional after every game because I know it’s just one less game. I have that and I don’t take a second for granted.”