Virginia Polytechnic (Tech) Institute Hokies
5:11.6-190 brp> Baltimore, Maryland
Mount St. Joseph High School
When the Fuller brothers get together to talk about the "family business" at the dinner table, defensive schemes and statistics are more likely to be the topic of conversation, as brother, Corey, a wide receiver with the Detroit Lions, is smart enough to let the three other brothers monopolize the discussion.
Oldest, wisest and the "grizzled veteran" of the four football-playing Fullers is Vincent, an All-Atlantic Coast Conference defensive back who was the first of the quartet to play at Virginia Tech (2001-04). He was later drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, playing safety for the team until 2010. He spent the 2011 campaign with Detroit and New England before being released.
Corey was a track performer at Kansas University for two seasons before transferring to Virginia Tech to test his football skills in 2010. He would be joined by Kyle, an incoming freshman at the time, who would go on to start 52 games for the Hokies over the last four seasons. Corey was selected by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, spending last season on the team's practice squad.
Kyle did not have to be the lone Fuller on campus after Corey graduated, though. In 2013, younger brother, Kendall not only joined the Virginia Tech program, he became an instant sensation. With Kyle manning the strong-side cornerback position, Kendall excelled at the "whip" linebacker slot. Both would earn All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors last season, a first for brothers at the school.
Even though Kyle missed the final three games and four total contests after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia, he received All-American second-team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation. The WCFF All-America team is selected by the head coaches and sports information directors of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools and certified by UHY Advisors, a New Haven-based accounting firm. Walter Camp, "The Father of American Football," first selected an All-America team in 1889.
By making one of the five nationally recognized All-America squads (Associated Press, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Football Writers Association, American Football Coaches Association), Fuller becomes the eighth Tech cornerback to earn All-American honors. Other Hokie cornerbacks to be recognized were: Jayron Hosley (2010), Victor "Macho" Harris (2008), Brandon Flowers (2006-2007), Jimmy Williams (2005), DeAngelo Hall (2003), Ronyell Whitaker (2001) and Anthony Midget (1999).
"I would like to thank God first and foremost, because without him, none of this would be possible," Fuller said. "It's an honor to be selected for this achievement and I am very thankful." It also gave the younger Fuller "bragging rights" when he talks with Vincent.
Both have gone down similar paths during their playing days at Virginia Tech. Vincent began as a nickel back, later moving to boundary cornerback before shifting to safety. In 50 games at Tech, he delivered 142 tackles with eight interceptions, 19 pass break-ups and three fumble recoveries.
Kyle's career started out at nickelback. He moved to "whip" linebacker as a sophomore before taking over strong-side cornerback duties his junior season. In 50 games for the Hokies, he registered 173 tackles with six interceptions, 21 pass deflections and four forced fumbles. In 2011, he led the nation's defensive backs by delivering 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Similar to his senior season at Virginia Tech, Kyle's senior season at Mount St. Joseph High School was marred by an injury (finger) that cost him considerable playing time. He received a three-star rating from Scout.com, as that recruiting service ranked him 83rd in the nation among cornerbacks. Super Prep rated him the 14th-best overall player in the Mid-Atlantic region and ESPN listed him 42nd on their national cornerback list.
As a junior, Fuller returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns. He also scored on a punt return, along with reaching the end zone with a kickoff return that season. As a senior, he picked off another pass before his finger injury sent him to the sidelines. He returned to play in the Maryland Crab Bowl.
As a true freshman at Virginia Tech, Fuller appeared in all 14 games, starting seven contests as the team's nickel back in 2010. He delivered 32 tackles, including four for losses and also broke up six passes, including three on third-down snaps. Fuller split time between nickel back, whip linebacker and field cornerback in 2011. The second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice led the nation's defensive backs with 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage that included 4.5 sacks. He also picked off two passes and batted down seven others.
Fuller would remain at cornerback for the remainder of his career, but during his junior season, in addition to taking 749 defensive snaps, he was on the field for 77 plays with the special team units. He posted 52 tackles, including three stops-for-loss and added to his interception figures with two more picks while deflecting five other throws.
The once 160-pound incoming freshman had grown to a muscular 195-pound defender by the time 2013 preseason camp opened. Fuller earned Super Iron Hokie honors for his performance in the training room, where he boasted a 330-pound bench press, 370-pound front squat and 305-pound power clean. Before undergoing sports hernia/core muscle surgery on Nov. 19, he made 24 tackles, two for losses, along with batting away 10 passes and picking off two others for the third-straight season.
Fuller started 42-of-50 games at Virginia Tech — 14 as a nickel back/whip linebacker and 28 at cornerback…Recorded 173 tackles (129 solos) with 4.5 sacks for minus 39 yards, 23.5 stops for losses of 82 yards, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery…Field three short punts, blocking two of those kicks to gain 41 yards in returns, including a touchdown in the end zone…Intercepted six passes and deflected 21 other throws.