All roads point to Corvallis for Fuller

<b>ONE OF THE WEST'S</b> most recruited backs in the class of 2004 – fielding more than a dozen offers – Patrick Fuller signed with Oregon State before delaying his enrollment this past year. <br><br>The Beavs this year could greatly use his combination of size, speed and ability to escape defenders when there's little room to run.

Fuller is determined to don the black and orange in 2005 and help return the OSU ground attack to the prominence it enjoyed during the eras of Ken Simonton and Steven Jackson.

Today is tomorrow for Fuller these days.

The 6-0, 200-pound running back sensation out of Covina, Calif., is focused on two things and two things only right now -- getting qualified and working his tail off in anticipation of the day he first steps onto the practice field at Oregon State.

Each and every day, Fuller both works out and studies for the upcoming ACT, which he'll take in April. He plans on heading to Corvallis soon after receiving a qualifying test score.

"After I finish that, I'll be moving up there and working out with the team and stuff until the fall," he said.

Fuller hasn't taken the football field since his senior season at Charter Oak High in 2003. Before that season came to a close, a recruiting frenzy took place with virtually every school in the Pac 10 -- and beyond -- making an early offer.

He didn't start until a few games into his junior season, putting together a solid, workmanlike year, rushing for 1,006 yards and 11 touchdowns. That's a prime example of why stats often yield an incomplete picture. Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar explained why a few games into Fuller's senior campaign.

"We run a very balanced offense we'll always pass as much as we run," Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar told at the time. "Patrick won't ever set any records because of that but with his size and speed, I think he's one of the top backs in the entire country and colleges have told me as much."

In over 35 years at the Charter Oak helm, Farrar said he's never coached a running back better than Fuller. He added that Fuller is just as good a person as he is a football player.

HIS SENIOR SEASON, the stats matched up with what college coaches already knew as Fuller rushed for more than 2,037 yards and 24 TDs. He's been timed in the 40 at 4.45 and has a vertical leap of 36 inches. But before he's able to ply those wares on the Reser turf, he needs to take care of the academics. Fuller said he's going to make it happen and is looking forward to being part of the Beaver family.

"I'm a very determined person," said Fuller. "I'm looking for good things to happen -- for them to see a lot out of me. I'm getting prepared and I can't wait to get up there to see everybody."

In the meantime, tomorrow will be like today -- with time well spent on mind and body.

"I've been working out, training hard," said Fuller. "I'm working on passing this test and then it'll all be good."

  • USC, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Washington State, Washington, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M all offered Fuller by September of his senior year.

  • Extremely athletic, Fuller was a three sport standout at Charter Oak, excelling in football, basketball and track.

  • Fuller is a multi-talented running back, with the power to take it up the gut and the speed to bounce it outside and take the corner. On Signing Day, coach Mike Riley described him as "...a great-looking kid, a nice-sized kid, and again, his production has been outstanding. I've seen him practice basketball and he looks athletic and powerful and quick and fast, so I'm excited about him."

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