After kicking around the record books at UCLA for the last four years, Punahou graduate Ka’imi Fairbairn is now awaiting a snap from the National Football League.
A projected late-round selection in this week’s NFL Draft, the 2015 Lou Groza Award winner as the nation’s top place kicker is back in the islands, having created quite the resume for franchises to examine.
Fairbairn made 20 of 23 field-goal attempts and each of his 44 extra points in 2015, setting the Bruins program record with a field goal long of 60 yards.
Prior to enjoying a round of golf with family and friends, Fairbairn explained while at Kaha Park in Kailua, the site of many youth soccer games as a child, that he’ll stay true with the philosophy that got him to this point.
“You want to work hard. That’s all it really is, not worry about the outcome because you have very little control,” said Fairbairn.
Projected as a sixth-round draft choice by NFL.com, Fairbairn acknowledges the uncertainty of specialist being selected with an average of only three per season over the last 10 years. He told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello: “No matter what happens, I’m reminding myself to just enjoy it. I talk to a lot of my teammates that have done it in the past. Enjoy the experience. You only go through it once, so take it all in and enjoy your family time and enjoying the process.”
Fairbairn is one of three Hawaii high school graduates who are predicted to be selected in this week’s draft, joining fellow Punahou graduate and Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner and Boise State linebacker Kamalei Correa of Saint Louis.
The seven-round NFL Draft runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Chicago.