Fuller, the No. 2 cornerback in the East, is taking a methodical approach to the recruiting process and, this weekend, will make his first visit since he stopped in at Ohio State in early April.
Coaches from Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers are in contact with him the most, but Fuller remains open to a number of options, including new offeree Wisconsin as well as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee and UCLA, where his brother, Devin Fuller, is a receiver.
And while early in his recruitment Fuller thought staying close to home would be a big part of his decision, he is now open to playing anywhere in the country.
“If it’s a place I want to be and I’m comfortable there, I’m fine going there,” said Fuller, who last visited UCLA in early April. “I want to take all my officials. They’re all up in the air. I have to talk to my parents and discuss it.”
So, next up for Fuller is his first visit to Stanford, and he is looking to see beyond the obvious.
“Everyone says it’s a great campus, a great place, so I want to see it myself,” Fuller said. “Academics are really important to me. Having a balance of academics and football is big. I’ve never been there so I am excited to see it.”
His most recent trips were to Harvard and Ohio State, and he said since the visit to Columbus, the Buckeyes turned up their recruitment.
It also helps that Ohio State has current New Jersey products Eli Apple, Noah Brown and Darius Slade on the roster to sell the transition from the Garden State, but the message from the Buckeyes coaching staff is clear.
“(They're pitching) life after football and (how) they’ll develop me,” Fuller said. “When my family and I went to campus they saw what kind of kid I am, and what kind of family I have. They really liked that. They want that type of kid in their program, so they recruit people like me. They recruit good people.”
Penn State is saying much of the same, and is pushing the location. The need for depth in the secondary is also a big selling point.
“They preach family, and it makes almost too much sense for me to come there. That’s what they say,” Fuller said. “It’s a really good vibe (on campus). Everyone is close. There is a great vibe around the program.”
Fuller also likes the way defensive coordinator Bob Shoop operates, and how the secondary is utilized.
“I see some athletes,” Fuller said. “Their defensive coordinator is one of the best in the country, and he ran one of the best defenses in the country with having (limited) scholarship players, and that says a lot.”
Rutgers was the first school to offer Fuller, doing so when he was in eighth grade, and the relationship has continued even with a change in coaching staffs.
Interestingly, though, the Scarlet Knights are talking to Fuller from an offensive standpoint as well as defense. While Rutgers is talking primarily cornerback and special teams, the Scarlet Knights’ recruiter for North Jersey, Anthony Campanile, who coaches receivers, is talking about Fuller playing on offense.
“Coach Campanile told me I’m the guy he wants to coach,” Fuller said. “He said I’m a pretty big priority for them.”
In talking about what jumps into his mind when he thinks of Rutgers, Fuller said, “it’s close to home.” However, he added he needs to bond with the players in the program to see how he meshes with them.
“I visited there before but I didn’t get to talk to their players much,” he said. “I want to hang out with their players. That’s what this is really about. I’ll probably go see them again.”
Meanwhile, Fuller said getting to know Wisconsin, which offered Tuesday, is also on his list of things to do.
“I talked to the coaches a little bit about them, but I don’t know too much,” he said. “It just kind of came out of nowhere. They came by the school and then I got in contact with them after and that is when they offered.”