Daniel Faalele has reached another milestone in his amazing journey from Australia to the NFL.
The 6-foot-8, 380-pound offensive lineman has signed his rookie contract with the Ravens prior to the start of training camp. Faalele was the first of Baltimore's six picks in the fourth round (110th overall), and the Ravens will continue developing a raw talent who got a late start in football.
Growing up in Australia, Faalele focused on basketball and rugby until he was 16 years old. While Faalele was working out at Conquest Athletic Performance in Melbourne, his size and athleticism caught the eye of college coaches including Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, who held a satellite camp in Melbourne.
After moving to the United States, Faalele attended IMG Academy in Florida and spent one year learning football in practice before he started to play in games. Once he entered the lineup, Faalele helped IMG to an undefeated season in 2017 and accepted a scholarship to Minnesota.
Faalele became a starter as a freshman and eventually became one of the Big Ten's top offensive linemen. He was the biggest player at the NFL Combine, but Faalele wants to be known for more than his size. It remains to be seen how much playing time he will earn as a rookie, but Faalele is planning for a long NFL career.
"Every step of this journey, I've been able to compete and play early," Faalele said. "So, that's definitely a goal of mine, and I'm going to be striving for it, but I'm just going to take it day by day and just keep my head down and grind."