Drawing a crowd

Tennessee is in the running for a wideout who seems equally adept at attracting passes and scholarship offers.

Jody Fuller caught 75 passes last fall as a junior for Sun Valley High in Union County High, N.C. And, according to Sun Valley head coach Scott Stein, he has "around 30 offers" from college recruiters to date.

Those are unusually impressive numbers for a guy who is rated a mere 3-star recruit and ranked America's No. 60 wide receiver prospect by Scout.com.

"He's your classic God-given talent," Stein said. "He's 6-1, 205 pounds, and ran 4.45 (in the 40-yard dash) at the last combine he went to. He has a 38-inch vertical leap and he catches the ball fairly well. We hand it to him some, throw it to him some. It's one of those things where we try to get him the ball a lot."

Last fall the coaches succeeded. Fuller caught 75 passes for 834 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2010-11. Apparently, he earned each one of those catches.

"We play a pretty tough schedule, one of the toughest in North Carolina," Stein said. "I believe Jody played against seven D-1 defensive backs last year, and he was able to put up catches against every one of them.

"He was consistent. Rather than having one spectacular game, he's a guy who'll catch six, seven, eight balls a game."

Because of Fuller's rare blend of size and speed, his coach also utilizes him as a runner and as a return specialist.

"I try to get the ball in his hands 15 times per game - on kickoff returns, handing him the ball on the jet sweep and throwing it to him," Stein said. "This year he'll probably do some punt returns, as well."

Fuller played basketball through his sophomore year of high school but elected to focus on football as a junior in 2010-11.

"He chose to work on combine stuff," Stein said. "He was the No. 1 athlete out of 800 athletes at Nike's Charlotte combine. He's going to be a national recruit. He's been nominated for the Army All-America Game. He'll be in The (North Carolina vs. South Carolina) Shrine Bowl, for sure."

Fuller comes by his athleticism honestly. His father, also named Jody, played football at Elon.

Fuller already visited Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke. He plans to tour several more campuses during the summer. His 30 scholarship offers reportedly include Arkansas, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.


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