Fuller sees ‘unique combination’ at ND

Notre Dame improved its chances to land four-star defensive back Jordan Fuller after the New Jersey prospect visited Thursday.

Defensive back Jordan Fuller of Old Tappan (N.J.) No. Valley Reg., visited Notre Dame on Thursday. It was the four-star’s first time seeing Notre Dame.

Fuller and his father, Bart Fuller, arrived on campus mid-morning and received a tour of the locker rooms and football facilities. Following a tour of campus, they met with academic advisors.

“It’s a beautiful campus,” Bart said. “What sets it apart really was the stadium being right in the middle of campus and how you get a sense that academics are so important. It’s a unique combination, the highest level of academics and the highest level of football.”

The latter half of the day was spent with different members of the Notre Dame coaching staff.  Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght left a significant impression on Fuller and his father.
“(Lyght) explained how Notre Dame would utilize him, as a free safety,” Bart said. “He has accomplished everything that Jordan would like to do in terms of his accolades. From what he did at Notre Dame, to having a successful career in the NFL and being recognized for his high quality of play and winning a Super Bowl. From a mentor’s standpoint, Jordan would love to learn from him.

“He talked to Jordan about coming in and playing right away due to who’s on the roster, who’s leaving and how many they plan on bringing in. Jordan has the physical tools to step in quickly. It’s not like he has to gain weight or get taller or faster.”

Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder’s NFL background resonated strongly.

“VanGorder talked about some different things than what we heard from coach Lyght,” Bart said. “He has NFL experience and you don’t always find that. He talked about he can develop Jordan to better make that transition to the NFL after college.”

During a meeting in the head coach’s office, Brian Kelly explained what makes Fuller an ideal fit at Notre Dame.

“We spoke with him for about a half hour, 45 minutes,” Bart said. “He spoke about the culture and the type of kid that goes to Notre Dame. They’re very like-minded to Jordan, on and off the field. He said a lot of good stuff about where they see the program heading.”

Irish safety and New Jersey native Elijah Shumate spent time with Jordan and his father before they departed campus.

“We got to spend some time with Shumate,” Bart said. “Not all of the players were back on campus yet. We had the connection with Shumate with him from being New Jersey and him knowing my older son.”

Fuller has yet to narrow his list of schools, though his father believes a top 10 will be released before the start of his son’s senior year.

“I think in the end it will be about how comfortable he feels with the guys,” Bart said. “All of the schools recruiting him have a lot of similarities, so it will be about where he feels most comfortable even in football is not in the picture.”

Schools often linked with Fuller’s recruitment include Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, TCU and UCLA.

“He hasn’t decided on official visits, not yet anyways,” Fuller Sr. said. “We are traveling to TCU today, and that will be the last visit before the school year starts. I want him to have a little bit of time at home just to do nothing.”

Fuller is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 10 cornerback in the Class of 2016.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories