VTF Countdown: #29 Kendall Fuller

With 29 days until Virginia Tech faces Alabama in the Georgia Dome, we turn our attention to no. 29 on roster Mr. Kendall Fuller. With the start of fall practice just a few days away, one of the more interesting storylines entering this fall camp period is how five star Kendall Fuller is going to fit into what the Hokies are going to do on defense this year. Is he going to be primarily a nickelback or will the Hokies play him more frequently at corner? Can he beat out Donaldven Manning for the starting job at field corner? All of those are questions that we won’t know the answer to until Fuller straps on some pads and hits the practice field. Either way, I don’t see Fuller staying on the sideline much this fall. He’s too valuable a commodity to ride the pine.

The Breakdown

  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 193 lbs
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Year: Freshman
  • High School: Good Counsel High School
  • Location: Olney, MD

High School Career

Listing out all the accolades that Fuller earned in his school would take up almost half a page. His most prestigious, to him I’m sure, is the state championship he won as a junior. Still, being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Maryland would be high on that list as well.

Fuller boasted offers from just about everybody but his recruitment came down to two teams: Virginia Tech and Clemson. For awhile, the Tech faithful were a little concerned that the youngest Fuller was headed to Clemson. However, a final visit to Virginia Tech sealed the deal and Fuller was Blacksburg bound. He committed just over a year ago on July 29th, 2012.

Reasons For Excitement

Five Star Status: Let’s take a look at the players who were five stars entering Virginia Tech: Kevin Jones, Marcus Vick, Macho Harris, and Tyrod Taylor. Players like David Wilson, Logan Thomas, and Holland Fisher were close but came up just short in the rankings. Still, something all those players share is that they were tremendously impactful during their tenures at Virginia Tech. Fuller will have that same impact although I wouldn’t expect the world out of him quite yet. He needs one year to adjust. As a sophomore, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he became a starter somewhere in our secondary.

Great Fit at Safety Or Corner: In the long run, I view Fuller as more of a safety prospect that a true lockdown corner. Granted, he can play either at a very high level. But, I think his skill set mimics his oldest brother more so than Kyle. He’s a bit more compact in his build and he’s a terrific open field tackler. If Kyshoen Jarrett happens to leave early and go pro after this season, I would almost prefer Fuller to slide to rover next year and continue to develop Desmond Frye as a backup.

Causes For Concern

Lacks Elite Top Speed: I think the one knock on Fuller throughout the recruiting process was his lack of an elite top gear. Fuller has good speed and he is quick enough to handle playing man-on-man in coverage. But, he doesn’t’ have that 4.3 speed that some of our past cornerbacks have. At the end of the day, I don’t think that’s a huge issue but it’s something that may keep him from being the first cornerback off the board in the NFL draft if he develops into a star at this level.

What to Expect

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the coaches have in mind for Fuller this fall. I know they don’t plan on redshirting him but are they going to start him off behind Donadlven Manning or his brother Kyle? Also, how will the performance of Brandon Facyson factor in to what the coaches are going to do with Fuller? There are a lot of question marks here.

Whatever happens, just having Fuller earn some reps this fall is really all that matters. I don’t think he’s going to be a guy that’s here all four years (although he may choose to stay like Kyle) so it’s probably best to use him as much as possible while he’s here. Still, in the long-term, I do view him as a rover potentially. I think he has a similar frame to some of our past players there and he could be an asset coming up against the run. Bud Foster likes to align his rovers near the line of scrimmage and I think Fuller would excel in that role.

Bottom Line

Is been a few years since Tech has possessed a true five star talent, although I would argue that Logan Thomas and David Wilson were deserving of that honor. Fuller is a great student of the game and it wouldn’t surprise me if he sees extending playing time this fall. I expect a lot of good things out of this young man.