Eric Fuller Jr. wasn’t going to wait around.
After playing in only three regular season games due to issues with his transfer from Paramount (Calif.) to Los Angeles (Calif.) Augustus Hawkins, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound receiver was determined to be an impact player in the playoffs. He had already caught three touchdown passes against Canoga Park (Calif.). But facing Los Angeles (Calif.) Grant, Fuller didn’t always need the assistance of a quarterback.
To open the game, Fuller caught a bouncing kickoff at the 15-yard line, raced up the middle and then cutback to his left, running it back 85 yards for a touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Fuller caught a screen pass on the left side, weaved his way through the defense for a 39-yard touchdown only to have it called back for a holding penalty.
Undeterred, Fuller soon had his touchdown catch when Dylan Lemle hit him on a post route for a 23-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, Fuller went back to his solo act, intercepting a pass at the 47-yard line. He spun away from an initial tackle attempt and crossed half of the field before turning upfield and cutting back to his left to run it in for his third touchdown of the first half.
“I mean it's lovely to get an opportunity to just play the game of football,” Fuller said after Hawkins' 63-20 win over Grant. “My whole high school career we've been eliminated in the second round, so just making it this far, it feels good.”
Fuller’s ability to score from anywhere on the field and make defenders miss when he has the ball in his hands has made him one of the top Southern California receivers in the 2018 class. He is hearing from a number of colleges, including Michigan, USC and UCLA, but said he doesn’t have any early frontrunners for his eventual commitment.
“I'm going to weigh it out all the way to my senior year,” Fuller said. “The way I will narrow it down is basically I have to live there for four years, first of all. So what fits me most, where I'm comfortable at living and where they welcome me in as a family. Things like that.”
That commitment won’t come any time soon, according to the speedy four-star receiver. He plans to take his recruitment all the way to National Signing Day in 2018 unless he is able to graduate high school early and enroll for the spring semester of college. Fuller hopes the extra semester and being able to participate in spring practices at the college of his choice will help him be ready to play as a freshman.
For Fuller, finding a family environment where he feels comfortable is more important than location, but the school school just a couple miles down the street from Hawkins High will definitely receive consideration.
“USC coming up is just like in the backyard, so I'm going to for sure be keeping them in mind.”
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