Fullwood Sees Full House

The offered Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) DE took in his first Nittany Lion home game when Penn State downed Michigan 43-40 in quadruple overtime recently. Where does he stand in the recruiting process?

Darius Fullwood is on the mend these days, a Week 4 foot injury the culprit. But that didn't stop him from visiting Penn State Oct. 12 for its 43-40 homecoming victory over Michigan in quadruple overtime.

A 6-foot-5, 235-pound Class of 2015 defensive end from Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), the three-star has long held the Lions in high regard since receiving a verbal scholarship offer after an Advanced Skill Camp in June. This visit didn't change that.

He met with head coach Bill O'Brien and D-line coach Larry Johnson, and figures he talked to almost all of the coaching staff before the game. He sat with Class of 2014 Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.) tackle Derrick Nnadi, and spoke to much of the PSU defensive line after the game.

"It was a great experience for me to get down there," Fullwood said. "We got there a few hours before the game, ate some food, and waited for the players to arrive. We got to see them right out the (recruiting lounge) window, so that was pretty exciting for me.

"I don't have a specific list yet, but for sure, Penn State is standing out right now."

Watching Johnson's line work was a particular highlight for the junior, a logical point on a day the line itself had plenty of highlights.

Johnson divulged shortly before the game some of what his line, and defensive coordinator John Butler's defense, would do as a whole, making what Fullwood saw more meaningful than it might have otherwise been.

An example he pointed to specifically was Johnson's explanation of how the line drops into pass coverage in the flats, a coverage scheme he saw firsthand when end Anthony Zettel dropped back and picked off a Devin Gardner pass in the second quarter.

"Hearing him say how the scheme works, and for them to do it on the field, was big," Fullwood said. "It was big to get a visual on the field. The whole defensive line did well, and I thought the ends did really well.

"I talked to them after the game, and they were telling me how, if I come here, I would have the opportunity to play against some of the best competition, and that they are having a great experience. Most of them are juniors or seniors, and it was nice to hear from someone that is about to graduate."

Fullwood speaks with Johnson roughly once a week through a mix of phone calls and social media messages. The end added the defensive line coach "acts like a mentor" for him, speaking more about life and inquiring about his season rather than just focusing on Penn State football.

The junior plans to major in business, and while the visit was certainly more about football on this day, he learned some about what he could gain from an academic perspective from the recruiting hostesses stationed in the recruiting lounge.

"I would say one of the most important things was the ladies telling me Penn State has a top business school, and one of the best in the country," he said. "They said it was one of the top three, which is a good thing that I like to hear.

"I also didn't expect that many people to be there. Seeing all those fans [107,884] and being on the field was pretty cool."

The message from O'Brien and Johnson before the tilt was simple: they like his play, and would love to have him as a member of their Class of 2015. He said it was a great feeling that both took time out of their pre-game routine to speak to him, adding it made him feel like they cared about him.

That said, he isn't close to making a decision.

Stanford is the latest program to show interest, and trips to Virginia, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State — all of which have offered — are in the works but not yet set in stone.

Staying close to home won't be a requirement in his recruitment, but Fullwood says playing at a school his parents could easily come to see him play at is a "big deal." He's also looking for a school that has a history of strong defensive play.

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