Patrick Fuller: NCAA weighs in

BEAVERFOOTBALL.COM REPORTED back in March Patrick Fuller's days were all about studying and working out. In May, we broke the news the highly sought Fuller had done exactly that, securing a qualifying test score with plans to be on OSU's campus mid-June. Today, is reporting the Covina, Calif., star athlete has received word from the NCAA Clearinghouse, and there's been a change in his plans.

Start celebrating Beav fans–while but a formality since May, its still news well worth cheering: Patrick Fuller has been received the thumbs up from the NCAA.

As expected, Fuller has received the green light from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Not expected, Fuller looks to be in Corvallis by Sunday. That's more than a week earlier than he had originally planned.

"Yes sir, I've been cleared," Fuller told "I'm trying to leave on Sunday, trying to get plane tickets...I was thinking about driving so I could take more of my stuff, but I think I'll fly up and just have my mom send it to me."

One of the West's most sought running backs in the class of 2004, Fuller, (6-0, 200), could redshirt, or he could contend for significant turns this season. Much depends on his fall camp and on how Jimtavis Walker, Yvenson Bernard and Charles Burnley progress over the offseason and in camp. Bernard is currently the leading candidate for the starting gig in the Beavs backfield.

IT HAS BEEN a long road for Fuller, a player long determined to wear the black and orange and help return the OSU ground attack to the prominence it enjoyed during the eras of Ken Simonton and Steven Jackson. With the NCAA clearance, his focus is trained upon accomplishing just that.

The running back sensation from Charter Oak High was of the gems in the OSU class of 2004, fielding more than a dozen offers before making his pledge to the Beavers. Virtually everyone came after him, with USC, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Washington State, Washington, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M all offering Fuller by September of his senior year.

That senior season, Fuller ran wild, racking up over 2,000 yards and 24 TDs. He's been timed in the 40 at 4.45 and has a vertical leap of 36-plus inches. In over 35 years at the Charter Oak helm, coach Lou Farrar said he's never coached a better running back, saying Fuller is just as good a person as he is a football player.

A highly productive and multi-dimensional threat coming out of the backfield, Fuller has both the power to earn a living between the tackles and also the speed to bounce it outside and take the corner. Back on Signing Day in February of 2004, 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."

Fuller was a three sport standout at Charter Oak, an extraordinarily athletic who excelled in football, basketball and track.

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