Extended Season, Recruiting Waits

HILLSDALE, N.J. -- Northern Valley (Old Tappan, N.J.) four-star quarterback led his team into the Dec. 2 state title game, and in the process showed he is beyond an early-season injury. However, the on-field success means the schools waiting for him to set up official visits will have wait even longer because he is not focusing on recruiting until his season ends.

It took a bye week a month after the season began to cure what ailed four-star quarterback Devin Fuller, and in the process it nearly cost Northern Valley Old Tappan (N.J.) High a shot at the playoffs.

However, now that the dual-threat Fuller's legs are healthy, the Golden Knights are rolling.

And it means Fuller's recruiting plans are on hold until the state title game Dec. 2 against Wayne (N.J.) Hills High.

About all the recruiting Fuller wanted to talk about after leading seventh-seeded Northern Valley to a 34-10 win against No. Pascack Valley in the North Jersey Group III semifinals was which schools he would visit.

"TCU, UCLA, Rutgers and Alabama," said Fuller, who already visited Nebraska. "I'm not even thinking about recruiting right now, to tell you the truth."

One thing for certain is Fuller is putting his full talents on display since an Oct. 14 bye allowed him to rest.

Before the injury, Fuller was averaging 35.2 rushing yards per game (5.4 yards per carry), and he threw seven touchdowns and four interceptions in five games.

In the last five games, Fuller is averaging 197.8 rushing yards per game (17.3 ypc) and has thrown 13 touchdowns and three interceptions.

"Since he couldn't run, he was reading defenses a little more and stepping up and throwing," said Fuller's father, Bart, an assistant at Northern Valley. "I think he's equally as good as a passer as a runner. People like to look at the run first, but he's been throwing it pretty good lately.

"I think it was blessing as other people got to get involved in the offense and develop their game a little bit. Everybody was improving, and it improved his awareness in the pocket, so he was able to throw a little bit better."

In the 24-point win at Pascack Valley, which defeated the Golden Knights 30-28 in the season opener, Fuller completed 10 of 12 passes for 177 yards and two scores, and he ran 24 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

"It's wonderful to win as a team like this," said Fuller, who had plenty of help from teammates in the win. "The games when I have 300 yards, those are great for me but that's all they talk about in the paper, but it's a team game to win a football game. I give it all to (his teammates). They did a fantastic job opening holes for me."

Included in the win was many of Pascack Valley's fans, and even some players on the sideline, cheering when Fuller took a knee to the groin area in the second quarter and was down on the field for several minutes.

"I know," Fuller said. "It wasn't a bad injury. It hurt for a little while, but that was fine. It was motivation. Right after that it's when we started to pick it up."

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