While Fresno State was hosting a "Meet the Team" at Campus Pointe on Thursday, Fresno State Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward received a call with big news from one of his targeted recruits.
Lauderdale Lakes (Florida) Boyd H. Anderson High School defensive back Raheme Fuller recently narrowed down double digit offers down to five - Fresno State, Syracuse, West Virginia, UCF and Middle Tennessee State. On Thursday, Fuller made the decision to commit to Fresno State.
“I had to look over all the schools,” Fuller said. “I had Fresno State up there for a while, but I hadn’t really looked into it. Then (Thursday) I did my research and I was looking into it, I knew that was the place for me.
“When I looked into all the schools in my top eight, it wasn’t about the logo on the side of the helmet, I just wanted somewhere I could go an play my freshman year, impact the team and have a good four years there.”
And Fuller will have a good chance at competing for a starting spot in 2017. The Bulldogs go into this season with two senior cornerbacks who will leave behind two opportunities for an incoming freshman like Fuller to earn.
“I already knew about the situation going on,” Fuller said. “Any school you go to, you’re going to have to compete so it doesn’t matter who’s there, you’re just going to have to fight for the spot and let the best man win. I feel I can thrive in that type of defense.
Fuller is a 6-foot-3 cornerback, a height that is rarely combined with the cornerback-style athleticism that he holds. That edge will give him a realistic shot at competing early at the next level.
“You don’t see a lot of corners at 6-3 that can really move,” Fuller said. “I think I can take away one side of the field and be that man-to-man corner. I’ll be that corner that teams will be scared to throw at.
“I’m a corner that’s going to come up in run support. I’m a physical corner, a physical guy. I never quit and I’m always hustling to the ball. I always have my hand on the ball. I’m that type of corner that a lot of teams wish they could have.”
If you’re just getting back into Fresno State football with the season coming up, you may not know that Fuller is not the Bulldogs’ first commit out of Florida. Fuller is Fresno State’s ninth commit for the 2017 class, while the first was also from Florida - Cody Watson, a linebacker and defensive back from Hollywood (Florida) Chaminade Prep.
Fuller and Watson are friends and hope to encourage more Florida talents to join them by February. The two will look to take their official visit together later in the recruitment process.
“I know Cody, he’s a close friend of mine,” Fuller said. “We’ve been talking every day and last night when I committed he had called me… He was surprised because I told him it was going to come down to [my top five]. I told him if he wants to do something and make an impact on this team, we could team up together, go out to Cali and make something happen. And that’s what we decided to do.”
Fresno State’s new defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward is the mind behind the Bulldogs’ recruiting efforts in the South and Southeast. Fuller said he enjoyed his conversations with Ward, which were as much about his personal life and schooling as they were about football.
“That’s what made him so different,” Fuller said. “It’s not always about football. He always makes sure I’m alright. Not every time he hits me up is it always about football.”
Fuller is looking forward to his official visit to Fresno State where he will get to learn more about what the school has to offer away from football. He intends on majoring in criminal justice.