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Houston Texans

Who is Ka'imi Fairbairn?

Texans placekicker Ka'imi Fairbairn does not hear his full name, John Christian Ka'iminoeauloameka'ikeokekumupa'a Fairbairn, very often.

There is one exception though.

"My mom calls me that when she's angry at me," Fairbairn said in an interview with Texans Radio.

The 22-year-old rookie finished his career at UCLA with a streak just as long, 41 consecutive field goal attempts from 35 yards or less. Signed by the Texans in May as a college free agent, Fairbairn says Houston reminds him of his native Hawaii.

"I love it," Fairbairn said. "The weather is very extreme compared to Hawaii but very similar in the way where it can hot and rainy at the same time. So it feels right at home for me."

The familiarity doesn't end with the weather. Fairbairn has also landed with good friend and former Bruin Xavier Su'a-Filo. The two were teammates at UCLA in 2012 and 2013. Fairbairn has leaned on the third-year offensive lineman during his transition to the NFL.

"He's a big role model of mine," Fairbairn said. "Ever since I was at UCLA, he's always taken me under his wing and treated me like a brother, along with all the guys on this team, so I really appreciate his company."

On Sunday at Levi's Stadium, Fairbairn kicked his first NFL field goal, a 45-yarder, in the third quarter. He also kicked the extra point after the Texans final touchdown of the game to extend Houston's lead to 24-13 over the 49ers.

Fairbairn is currently in a tight competition with nine-year veteran Nick Novak for the Texans placekicking duties. The two have worked together all offseason and in training camp, but ultimately only one can win the starting job.

"He (Fairbairn) made a fairly long field goal and he kicked an extra point and so I thought he did a pretty decent job," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "He had a couple directional kickoffs that were okay. The first one of the game I think he probably had a few butterflies and didn't kick that as well as he wanted to but it ended up being okay. The coverage worked out okay. So there's some things to improve upon like there always are with young kickers and young players. But I thought for his first outing it was pretty solid."

In high school, Fairbairn played both soccer and football but knew his future was in kicking. He was a kicker and punter for Punahou School in Honolulu for head coach Kale Ane, whom he credits for teaching him his technique and the mental side of the game.

Both have served him well.

While Fairbairn doesn't have the NFL experience to back up his name just yet, it's something he works on every day until his opportunity comes.

"I think that's part of the mental approach," Fairbairn said. "You try and put yourself in that situation and every practice. This is a gamewinner and in order to do that during practice, you have to execute it and come game time, it will become natural."

Take a look at the best pictures from the #Texans preseason opener against the 49ers.

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