Fulton Puts Nostalgia on Hold, Focuses on Arizona

For seniors, such as wide receiver Skyler Fulton, feeling reflective in the last week of the season is not only understandable but also expected. After all, his maroon and gold days are coming to an end in a little over 48 hours. Fulton told DevilsDigest that his reminiscing could wait until after the Arizona game.

"It hasn't really hit me," he commented on the impending conclusion to his ASU career. "When the last practice before the game is over, it may hit me a little more. Right now I'm just getting ready for the game. This is my Superbowl. This could be the last football game I ever play."

Going into the final game of the season, Fulton has already made his mark on some of ASU's records. His 94 receptions have him ranked 7th on ASU's all time season reception list. Not too bad for someone who actually started his Sun Devils career as a running back. With his nine touchdowns this season, he is also placed 7th on the all time record list for most touchdowns in a single season.

Coach Koetter has said that Fulton is the epitome of the football player he would like to have at ASU, and his achievements off the field are only a part of it. Recently, the wide receiver was named a first team Pac-10 all–academic selection. Earlier in the season he was voted to the 2003 American Football Coaches Association Good Works team for his community service accomplishments.

"That's what I do because I don't know any different," he stated. "That's how my parents raised me. I'm glad that Coach Koetter looks at it that way, but I just want to make my parents proud. Hopefully I'm doing that." The senior who is an education major primarily teaches minority and underprivileged kids. He also finds time to baby-sit teammate Jimmy Verdon's child, so the defensive end can fulfill academic obligations. Fulton also puts in many hours with the incoming freshmen helping them with their transition into college life. "I made a lot of friends," Fulton exclaimed. "I had a lot of good experiences, and just grown up since I've been here. I wouldn't change the experiences I had here for the world."

While Fulton may have had a fine season in 2003, his wide receiver unit has overall struggled for most of the year. The senior offered his views on this topic. "We weren't consistent as we needed to be," he said. "But to me that goes back to practicing hard every day, and not taking games for granted. A lot of guys in the receiver group have done a great job, and have done everything that was asked of them. No matter how hard you practice, sometimes you will drop balls and make mistakes."

The collective struggles of the team have been attributed at times to the lack of senior leadership. As an outgoing senior, Fulton doesn't dismiss that notion, but also preaches personal accountability. "It could be that we were lacking that leadership," claimed Fulton. "To me, people that point fingers need to look in the mirror. I'm sure that everybody, including the seniors, could do better. Everybody just needs to take care of themselves."

When it comes to life after ASU, the wide receiver will balance working on his degree and preparing himself for a shot playing at the next level. "I haven't thought about the NFL too much," he said. "But I know it's something that I will try to do. I will be student teaching in the spring so I will get my degree, and I'll be working out in the evening after I teach. Playing in the NFL is definitely a goal of mine, but I'll figure all that out after we beat U of A on Friday."

As he's about to set foot in Sun Devil stadium for the last time as a player, we asked him how he wanted to be remembered by the fans. He replied: "Just a dude who did everything he could, played hard, made no excuses, and did what was asked from him." If only ASU had more Skyler Fultons…

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