Late addition of Fuller huge for Sherman, Ags

Once committed to Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, A&M freshman wide receiver Jeff Fuller is now the talk of the A&M receiver corps. Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp visits with Fuller about what made him switch to the Aggies and what his dad, a former A&M standout thought about it. Plus, how did enrolling in the spring help him heading into his freshman year?

This time last year, Jeffrey Fuller was committed to Oklahoma, despite being the son of former NFL alum and A&M standout Jeff Fuller Sr. He grew up in the home of an Aggie, but he didn't think the offensive system at A&M would help him achieve his goals of reaching the NFL. But with the hire of Mike Sherman, who pledged to abandon the option and bring in a pro-style offense to Aggieland, Fuller decided to give A&M another look.

Sherman made sure he didn't waste any time as well.

"When I was announced head coach, I believe it was on a Tuesday, that night when I went back to Houston, I called him. He was the first guy I called," Sherman said. "I knew his dad played at A&M. I said just give me a chance to talk to you. He and I talked for about an hour that night about everything but football, his life, what he's interested in.

"We talked about his dad, his family, my family and we talked about A&M and what it was all about and what I was planning on doing. We had him come in for a visit and were able to get him to come over to our side."

That conversation really turned the head of Fuller, who said that as important as the new offense was to his decision, he didn't want to make a commitment based solely on football.

"When you make a decision about going to school you're going to be there for three, four, five years, so you don't want to make a decision made just on football," Fuller said. "We were both really happy about the situation. At first—no offense to Coach Franchione—the way things were going in the past, it wasn't the best place for me. When Coach Sherman came in, everything was perfect about the situation so it was nice to make the transition. My dad was pretty happy about it."

One person who was not happy about the change of heart—Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops—was on the other end of another phone call a few days later.

"It's hard to make a commitment to someone and tell them you changed your mind," Fuller said.

Like A&M quarterback Tommy Dorman, Fuller reported to Aggieland in Janurary, expecting to light the world on fire and take over the Big 12 South. But like many freshmen, he realized pretty quickly that that was not the case.

"I had it in my mind that I would come in and be all-world," Fuller said. "When I first got here after the spring, I wasn't near ready yet. Coming in during the spring was a wake up call then I came in this fall and hit the ground running. As a receiver in this complex offense, it was real beneficial (to report early).

Sherman agreed.

"Having come in at mid term certainly helped him," Sherman said. "He's much further along than when we finished the spring. He's more aggressive and understands the offense a lot better. He's further along than I projected him to be. He's got great hands, he plucks the ball with his hands. That second touchdown he scored (against New Mexico) could have been anybody's ball. He went up and made sure it was his ball and no one else's."

That toughness and ability to go up and get a ball against a defender is what makes Fuller such a valuable asset in the Big 12, where big physical receivers like Limus Sweed and Adarius Bowman have made a name for themselves.

That toughness is also something that he learned from his father, who was described by Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak as the toughest player he had ever played with.

But that doesn't scare the confident Fuller, who says his dad, who taught him a lot about defensive coverages as he learned the game in high school, wouldn't be able to cover him—even in his prime.

"He's a pretty big guy but I don't think he could cover me," Fuller said. "He's an old dude now though."

While Fuller is confident in his abilities, he's not cocky. When asked if he considered himself the Aggies' top receiver, he was quick to point out the other receivers in maroon, adding that he's learned a lot from them already, especially Pierre Brown.

"We have a lot of great receivers on our roster," Fuller said. "They haven't been displayed a lot in the past, but there's guys like Howard Morrow, Pierre Brown, they're both great receivers. I've seen what they can do and I've tried to emulate my game off of them. Pierre can run some ridiculous routes and I try to emulate my routes off of his."




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