Instead, he’s stood out.
Ahmad Fulwood earned more playing time last year than any of the receivers in his class, appearing in all 12 games during his freshman season. His 17 total receptions were the most by a true freshman at Florida since Percy Harvin in 2006.
Fulwood has continued to impress so far during fall camp. He has developed into one of quarterback Jeff Driskel’s most consistent targets, earning high praise from his head coach.
“Ahmad’s gotten a lot bigger, a lot stronger,” said Muschamp. “He’s much crisper in his route running now, and he’s catching the ball extremely well.”
At 6-foot-5, Fulwood creates matchup problems for opposing defenses with his combination of size and speed.
“He’s a matchup issue because of his length,” said Muschamp. “As a defensive coach you’re weary to line up a smaller corner across from him because he has exceptional ball skills and he catches the ball at its highest point.”
Fulwood’s ball skills were put on a national display last season with his juggling, acrobatic touchdown catch against Vanderbilt. The replay made its rounds on highlight shows across the country, marking Fulwood’s first big time play as an SEC receiver. It also seemed to give Fulwood an added dose of confidence, as he would go on to finish with 16 catches over his final 6 games.
“Playing as a freshman last year really helped me become comfortable with the college speed. Game experience helped me get a feel of how the game goes on this level, and once I got that feel it helped me settle down. I was very anxious during the beginning of the season, but as the season went on I got more and more comfortable being out there.”
While it’s still early in camp, Fulwood looks to be in line for one of Florida’s starting spots at receiver this fall. And a new spread offense that embraces formations with more wide receivers and a wide open passing game, he should have ample opportunities to make more highlight reel plays this season.
“I think when we saw the most production last year was when we went into three and four receiver sets. Now that we’re in those sets all the time, I really feel like the sky is the limit for us. When you get players like us in space, it’s gonna be tough to stop.”
Fulwood says Florida’s tough offseason conditioning program has helped them prepare for fast-paced, up-tempo style of the new offense.
“We’re literally training to be sprinting at all times,” said Fulwood. “One of the things (fellow receiver) Latroy Pittman is always saying is ‘I don’t get tired.’ And I think we’ve all taken that to heart, that no matter what as receivers we don’t get tired.”
As a result of their improved conditioning and revamped style of play, Fulwood says he believes the Gators will be able to wear defenses down each week by the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think defenses will be able to keep up with us. I think as we get down later into games it’s going to get worse for them.”
And as far as expectations go for the team this season, Fulwood says his are very simple.
“Winning every single game,” he said.