Although most people see the quarterback as the most important player on the field for the offense, there is another often overlooked player that is imperative to a quarterback's success, possibly making him more important- the center. After all, if the ball never reaches the hands of the signal-caller then the QB is unable to work his magic.
Linemen are the unsung heroes of the offense generally noticed more when the quarterback is getting sacked than anything else. Yet, it is the work of those five players that makes everything possible for any offense. Elbert Fulgham is one of those unsung heroes.
For the last few years Fulgham has been protecting the quarterback and opening holes for the running backs of Brother Martin High School, a catholic school in New Orleans, LA. At 6'1 and 280 pounds, the junior offensive lineman has played both center and right guard, both positions that require a player to be quick on his feet.
With a 40 yard dash time of 5.0 seconds, this center has speed to go with his strength as well. Currently, he benches 350 pounds making it easy for him to shove defenders around. His squat max of 540 pounds, makes it pretty hard for defenders to shove back.
He considers himself an aggressive and smart player on the field, someone that excels at getting the proper hand position on every play and having his pads lower than the defender, something that is very important when it comes to making a block. When he gets a hold of a block he does not let it go until after the whistle blows.
An All-District player in 2009, he sees himself just getting better by next season. The maturity of this young man was evident when he said the first thing he wanted to continue improve on was his school performance. In regards to football, he wants to keep getting stronger, and improve his footwork and mechanics.
"I just want a home like atmosphere. A school where they are family. I school where I get along with the players and coaching staff," said Fulgham.
The junior has yet to make any visits and would not pick a favorite, stating that he wanted to be sure and keep his options open at this stage. He did however, speak fondly of SMU.
"It would be an honor to be a part of SMU's football program one day," said Fulgham. "They are starting to have a great football program. I could see them becoming a real power very soon."
SMU wide receiver coach Jeff Reinebold has already been in contact with him, but Fulgham has some inside information as well. His friend and former teammate, Joey Fontana, has filled him in.
"Joey told me that it's been great so far at SMU. I was just hanging out with him a couple days ago. It sucks that he got hurt, but he is moving around pretty good," said the junior.