Skyler Stays Grounded After Career Game

What is the measure of a true team player? Take wide receiver Skyler Fulton for example. Last week against North Carolina, doubled his ASU career receiving yards, and easily had his best game as a Sun Devil. However, the frustrating 38-35 loss erased any feeling of much earned jubilation. In this exclusive interview to Devils Digest the junior talks about his achievement, choosing between Baseball and Football, and his expectations for the Oregon State game.

Fulton was undoubtley the biggest surprise coming out of ASU's last game. He had 122 yards on only five catches. So far this year, he has two touchdowns and is bolstering what used to be somewhat of a suspect wide receiver core. When we asked him about his feat against North Carolina, he was full of humility putting it in perspective. "It was bitter sweet. It was a fun game scoring all those points, but you have to get the W's especially when you get into the Pac-10 schedule." Despite the defeat last Saturday, the wide receiver feels the good vibes about the ASU offense. "The offense is coming around. The running game is going well, and we're just feeding of each other's strengths. The passing game is opening things up for the running game and vice versa. Things are really coming together for us."

Not much was expected from the Olympia, Washington native this year. After flirting with a Baseball career, Fulton came back to the Football team with virtually no fan fare. How does he explain his success this year? "The difference is that Shaun McDonald is one of the best receivers in the country, and when he draws two-three people with him, that opens things for other guys. You also have Lightfoot stretching the field. That gives a lot of other receivers chances to make plays. So, before I didn't have the one-on-one opportunities like I have now. You have just to credit Andrew (Walter), the line, and the receivers getting me the mismatch. I just hope I can also open up things for the other receivers."

As mentioned, Fulton is a two-sport athlete, and while he currently excels in Football, Baseball seems to have the warmest part in his heart. "I definitely will be a Baseball player, that has always been a dream of mine. Right now my priority is with the Football team, and getting a degree. When I left ASU, it didn't look like finishing school was in my future, but now I want to finish school. Not too many people get a chance to play College Football, and coming back here was kinda of a bonus for me." After not being able to make the Sun Devils Baseball team, Fulton left Tempe to play Baseball at Skagit Valley Junior College in his home state. His goal was to showcase himself for the Major League Baseball scouts in hopes of getting drafted in one of the higher rounds. Fulton had no qualms with the team who drafted him, the New York Yankees, but the fact that the round he got drafted was the 22nd immediately nixed any thoughts of quitting the ASU Football team. The honor student said it was not difficult coming back to the team." It was disappointing that I didn't get drafted because I did have my mind set in that direction. But this is my family here, when I left ASU I felt I left home. It wasn't hard at all to come back."

Fulton actually started his Sun Devil career at tailback in the 20 season, and was moved to receiver in 2001. Thus, when all the talk about the competition for the #2 receiver spot alongside McDonald surfaced, Fulton wasn't concern with the starter status too much. "All the receivers know our roles. Shaun and Lightfoot are the fastest players I have ever seen, (Justin) Taplin does things others can't do, (Derek) Hagan is a big receiver that can get downfield, and I'm more between the hashes type of player. So, I didn't see it as a competition for the second receiver position, we just had to learn our roles and get good at those…I'm not even worried about being the starter receiver. It's all about making plays when you get a chance to. With what Shaun and Lightfoot are doing, I'm gonna get my chances."

The Sun Devil wideouts, Fulton included, are expecting a stiff challenge from the Beavers this week, but also see opportunities to did what they couldn't last week – score a receiving touchdown. "Every week is a big test. The corners for Oregon St. know they're good, and they got a good defense that makes plays. They play a lot of man coverage, so we'll have chances to make plays." Who better to talk about seizing your chances than Skyler Fulton…?

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