Fargas Ready for NFL
June 24, 2003
By Whitney Webster-Raiders.com
RB Justin Fargas was known for his above-average quickness and his sharp change-of-direction abilities throughout his collegiate career. When the Oakland Raiders selected this 6'1", 219-pound 23-year-old Encino, Calif.,-native in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft, he was thrilled and ready to bring his reputation up north.
With the rookie mini-camp under his belt, and the first official full team mini-camp just recently over, Fargas still has that overjoyed feeling fresh on his mind. After all, even this one time Michigan Wolverine recognizes that the future is up in the air, "but for right now, I'm glad to be a Raider."
There hasn't even been a pre-season game yet and Fargas already feels the unity and camaraderie among all the players and the coaches. "The Raiders represent toughness," Fargas said, "and I think I exemplify that I am a tough football player. I just want to continue to do that, to be a part of this team and be ready to go to war with this team."
Fargas spent three seasons (1998-2000) playing at Michigan before returning to his home state of California. As a freshman, he suffered a broken leg during his last game for Michigan. Despite the injury occurring during the last game, Fargas was still named one of the Top 10 Freshman in the country by Sports Illustrated that year.
Two operations (two Titanium rods, 12 screws and two silver plates) and a year of rehab later, Fargas transferred to USC, red-shirted a year, and still managed to perform aggressively during the 2002 season. When asked about his broken leg Fargas replied, "It's a thing of the past. It has been five years since the injury and it has made me a stronger person and a stronger football player. Now, I look forward to the future."
It was Fargas' toughness that helped him give the Trojans their best running corps in years in 2002, and during his collegiate career at Michigan and USC, Fargas had a total of 1,077 yards and 8 touchdowns on 257 carries. With great Raider veterans such as RBs Charlie Garner and Tyrone Wheatley to learn from, Fargas looks forward to expanding his records by learning from the best.
Fargas is the son of television and movie star Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear on Starsky and Hutch). "He's always been my biggest fan," Fargas acknowledged and "just like any father, he's proud...proud to see the things I've done and hopefully I'll be able to continue to do good things."
With good things yet to come, this talented and determined RB understands that the NFL is a more challenging and competitive arena. Like any new exercise though, it will take a while to get accustomed to being at a new level. The increase in intensity however is something Fargas welcomes and looks forward to. He hopes to improve his own game in order to meet the degree of talent that already exists. "I'm just looking forward to learning," Fargas explained. "I look forward to learning from the guys that have experience and hopefully I'll be able to mix things up."
Judging by the way Fargas has been able to adjust to new situations and continue to make great plays in new settings, he will not only mix things up in Oakland, but will also have noteworthy presence and significant contributions on and off the field. This California boy is ready to play.