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Despite Disappointing Season for William Paterson, LB Charles Faulkner Excels On and Off the Field

Charles Faulkner, No. 5 (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

Charles Faulkner, No. 5 (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)


William Paterson Pioneers starting inside linebacker Charles Faulkner is not just skillful and talented on the gridiron but in the classroom, majoring in psychology and making the Dean’s List in the Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016.

“I haven’t told any of the coaches but I’m in a research group in my psychology group and trying to come up with a game based off football,” said Faulkner, a junior. “It’s going to be a study guide as well as a board game and you move the pieces based off yards. Football inspired me to come up with this game and I’m talking to a publisher about making this game and actually a reality.”

Faulkner is enjoying another stellar season with 65 tackles that places him 9th in the NJAC and 3rd on the Pioneers defense. In two games, against Rowan and Kean, Faulkner registered a combined 27 tackles. Last season, Faulkner started all ten games and was 2nd on the team with 74 tackles with an average of 7.4 tackles a game, ranking 8th in the NJAC.

“This season started off alright but it didn’t go in the direction we wanted to go but in the next three games we have to come together as a unit,” he said. “I play inside linebacker and complimented at that position by freshman Taheem Jackson and our defense is based off a system where 1 through 11 has to get the job done.”

“I went to high school with Ra’Keem Bennett so I know he is a really good player and plays free safety while Pat Moran is the strong safety and they work together well. In high school I played middle linebacker while he [Bennett] played outside linebacker.”

A signature moment and victory, Faulkner points out, this season was against Montclair State at Wightman Stadium.

“It meant a jumpstart in our season and we finally beat a team we had not defeated in 23 years,” said Faulkner. “Having a young defense is really good and our record isn’t the best but if you look into we always put a fight up and going into next season the majority of the defense should be really solid.”

On the job head coach Jerry Flora has done, Faulkner said, “He is a really good coach and put his heart into this. The motto is it’s not about him but putting the team first and not individuals that got us the win against Montclair State.”

Faulkner transferred from Middlesex County College that did not have a football program and before Middlesex attended Wagner College where Faulkner stated things did not work out for him. “From September of 2014 until August of 2015 I just trained and when I got the call from Coach Flora I know all the training was going to pay off and finally get back on to the field after a whole year of not playing football”

Before college, Faulkner attended Carteret High School in New Jersey where he earned first team all-county, all-conference and Group 3 honors in his senior year while recording 112 tackles. In his junior season, the school won the Central Jersey Group 2 Championship.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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