Oct 26, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Kendall Fuller (11) intercepts a pass intended for Duke Blue Devils wide receiver Jamison Crowder (3) during the first quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
When Kendall Fuller arrived at Virginia Tech last summer, Fuller brought tons of hype and interest with him as a player that people wondered about how much of an impact he could immediately make for the Hokies. Fuller was seen as one of the top cornerbacks in the country by all of the major recruiting sites while those sites were split on whether Fuller was a four or five star prospect. However, Fuller was still one of the best recruits to ever commit to the Hokies in the Frank Beamer era.
Kendall Fuller was not expected to be a starter as a true freshman but that ended up being the case in 12 of the Hokies’ 13 games. Kendall Fuller’s first career start and collegiate debut came against the Alabama Crimson Tide who had aspirations of winning a third straight national championship. Fuller’s solid performance in the Hokies’ season opener was the first sign that he had the talent to be the next great defensive player for the Hokies.
Kendall Fuller started to really break out when he had back-to-back games with interceptions against Marshall and on Thursday Night at Georgia Tech. Fuller was quite impressive in that Thursday Night game on ESPN as the Hokie defense absolutely dominated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Fuller was proving weekly that he could be a star for the Hokies but he had one of the best games ever for a Virginia Tech defensive player that definied his season.
The Virginia Tech Hokies might have been shocked at home by the Duke Blue Devils but in that game, Kendall Fuller had a special performance that really proved how great of a cornerback he already was and how big of a star he could become. Fuller was absolutely dominate throughtout the game and ended up having 3 interceptions on a day in which he had the best game of any player on that field.
Nov 9, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Dallas Crawford (25) runs for a touchdown as Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Kendall Fuller (11) attempts the tackle in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
After that great performance, Kendall Fuller would continue his strong season and finished the regular season with a dominant performance against Virginia. In the Commonwealth Cup, Fuller had 8 tackles, 4 pass deflections and an interception in what was his second best game of the year. Fuller would finish up the season a month later with a solid performance against UCLA in what would be a blowout loss for the Hokies.
Kendall Fuller ended the season with a very strong freshman performance of 58 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 6 interceptions, and 11 pass deflections. Fuller’s stellar freshman performance would lead him to not only being Second Team All-ACC but would also earn him a spot on the prestigious Freshman All-American team. Fuller would also receive the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year award in what was an absolutely stellar season for the freshman cornerback.
Kendall Fuller hasn’t let a strong freshman year stop him from pushing himself and working hard as Fuller showed in Spring Practice that he has huge potential. Fuller chased Demitri Knowles down in the Spring Game and on that play, Fuller showed that not only he had great speed for a cornerback but that he had amazing hustle that can’t be taught by a coach. Kendall Fuller also had an interception in the Spring Game to show Hokie Nation that he is ready for another big season.
The question is now, how big of a season will Kendall Fuller have? It will be hard for Kendall Fuller to have as many interceptions as he did as a freshman but that doesn’t mean he will have had a worse season if he has less interceptions. Fuller is developing into a lockdown cornerback that has the potential to be a top-10 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Kendall Fuller seems likely to have a Virginia Tech career with more interceptions than Brandon Flowers, Macho Harris, Jayron Hosley, DB coach Torrian Gray, and head coach Frank Beamer while Fuller also has a legitimate chance at challenging Gene Bunn for the career Virginia Tech interception record which is currently at 18.
Kendall Fuller has the potential to win some major awards including the Jim Thorpe Award at least once in his career. In the fall, Fuller will enter as one of the top cornerbacks in all of college football and there is a chance that Fuller could be a Preseason All-American. Kendall Fuller has become a lockdown cornerback that every opposing offensive coordinator will be looking to gameplan to avoid. If Kendall Fuller can continue getting better and better, there is definitely a chance that Fuller could go down in Virginia Tech football history as arguably the greatest player ever.
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