Perhaps no player has entered Virginia Tech in recent years with as much fanfare as cornerback Kendall Fuller. Fuller, a 5-star recruit and a consensus top-10 recruit in this year’s class, will be expected to contribute immediately next fall.
Everyone knows Fuller’s story by now. His three older brothers have either played or still do play for the Hokies. Rising senior cornerback Kyle Fuller will enter 2013 as a three-year starter at cornerback.
Last week’s injury to fellow starting cornerback Antone Exum could open up a starting spot for Kendall Fuller, at least early in the season. Judging by Kendall’s high-school career, he appears ready for the challenge. Much of that will depend on how he fares this summer, though.
In this day-and-age of everyone wanting to have a shutdown corner, here are three reasons why Kendall Fuller will shine in 2013 and beyond.
Kendall Fuller’s three older brothers have all played college football. All three have played for Virginia Tech. Kendall, unlike his three older brothers, was recruited by most of the nation’s major colleges.
The oldest, Vincent, had a solid four-year career for the Hokies, starting for three seasons and playing a total of 50 games. He would enjoy a seven-year career in the NFL.
Corey, the second oldest, attended Kansas for two years and was a member of the school’s track-and-field team. He was a sprinter, triple-jumper and long-jumper for the Jayhawks before transferring to Virginia Tech in 2010 to walk on the football team. As a senior, Corey started at wide receiver and finished second on the team in catches and yards. He expects to be taken in this April’s NFL draft.
The aforementioned Kyle is a former all-ACC player at cornerback and one of the better players on the current Hokie roster.
Kendall Fuller obviously has football and athletic success in his DNA. He won’t be a typical freshman entering college in the fall having already seen his brothers adjust to the game.
At 5’11”, 190 pounds, Fuller has good size for a cornerback. He has above-average height for the cornerback position and isn’t modestly built either.
Kendall has been timed at an impressive 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash and should only get faster and stronger when he gets into Virginia Tech’s weight program. Generally, the faster corners are smaller while the bigger ones are more physical. Kendall Fuller has shown the ability to play press-man coverage in high school, an impressive feat.
Some of the best cornerbacks in college football are players that played exclusively offense in high school. Fuller played offense in high school but he has always played cornerback. He has had the opportunity to play a variety of coverages during his high-school career, which further proves that he will be able to play as soon as he arrives on campus.
Fuller played for Our Lady Of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., a nationally-ranked program. He often played against the best teams the Washington, D.C. area had to offer and teams from as far away as Florida.
For three years, Fuller’s teammate was Stefon Diggs, now at the University of Maryland. Diggs was one of the top-rated recruits from 2012 and played receiver at Good Counsel. Fuller would often match up with Diggs in practice, he would win some and lose some, but always rose to the challenge.
It made him a better player.
When Fuller played against rival DeMatha High, his fourth-quarter interception sealed a victory for his school. He would have other great moments, too. His goal was simple: Take out the opposition’s top receiver.
Kendall Fuller comes to Blacksburg with plenty of experience. That will serve him well come September.