The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

Advertisement
The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Rewriting Records

%26%23160%3B
 

The first thing one notices about Jeff Fuller is he’s larger than life. At 6’4″, 215 pounds, the junior wide receiver towers over a majority of the Aggieland population that doesn’t wear pads and cleats. Add that to his record-breaking career in maroon and white: his 25 receiving touchdowns are the most in Aggie history by six, and Fuller seems more of a myth of Bunyanesque stature than an average human being.
If you had that assumption, you couldn’t be more wrong.
“He’s a real people person,” senior wide receiver Terrence McCoy said. “He just wants everybody to love him. If I need anything, Jeff’s the first person I’d think to call because me and Jeff are best friends. He’s a real good friend both outside and inside of football.”
He learned from his father, also named Jeff, about everything from being a good person to being a top-class football player. The elder Fuller was a safety for Texas A&M from 1980-1983 and then went on to a six-year NFL career in San Francisco.
“He taught me a lot about A&M,” Fuller said. “I just got a great opportunity to be around people like [his father, Chet Brooks, and Aaron Wallace]. I learned a lot about traditions here and what kind of football they play.”
Fuller says that he is the same kind of player his father was — one that takes advantages of opportunities and wants to make plays while “attacking the game.”
As a four-star receiver coming out of Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas, Fuller had a choice to make — should he follow his father’s lead and play for the Aggies, or go on to greener pastures with another Big 12 program who had had more success in the decade: Oklahoma?
In the end, Fuller made his verbal commitment to the Sooners. Surprisingly, Jeff’s father was supportive of the decision to bolt for a conference rival.
“He was going to be happy with either decision I made,” Fuller said. “It was really predominately about me at the time — just because the University was good for him didn’t mean it was good for me.”
When Head Coach Mike Sherman was hired, former coach R.C. Slocum gave him a phone call, mentioning how Fuller’s father had played at A&M during the ‘80s.
On a visit to A&M, Fuller toured the campus with then-redshirt freshman Jerrod Johnson and eventually made his decision to renege on his Oklahoma commitment and follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I came in [to visit], and Jerrod was the host on my official visit,” Fuller said. “I just really had a good time with that and felt at home. And I knew it was the right fit because…everything fit. I knew I was at home. I just felt like I was really, really wanted and needed here.”
Fuller’s freshman year had the typical highs and lows of any highly touted prospect. He set the record for most receiving touchdowns by a freshman with nine and slowly emerged as Johnson’s favorite target. But during the practices leading into that freshman campaign, Fuller began to see that the game was much higher evolved than the level he graduated from.
“I went through [one] practice and had a few catches,” Fuller said. “I thought I had a good practice and we came in to watch film and I was just getting ripped for just small details…not even small details. It was a terrible practice — I ended up having a lot of missed assignments. That’s when I realized the game was a lot different and that I had a lot to learn.”
In the summer two-a-days, Fuller led the team in drops and thought he wasn’t going to play early in the year. But in the second week, Fuller said he sat down and “realized what I was here for,” then made the necessary strides to be a top target for the Aggie offense.
Fuller’s sophomore year started with an explosive 10-catch, 111-yard day against New Mexico. The next match-up against Utah State, however, Fuller’s season was placed in jeopardy.
On his second catch against the visiting Aggies, Fuller landed awkwardly in the grass, cracking his right fibula and forcing him to miss four contests.
For the next month, Fuller’s focus was on rehabilitation. With the help of physical therapist Matt Kee and strength and conditioning coach Dave Kennedy, Fuller was able to gain both physical and mental strength.
“Every morning [Kee would] have me run in this underwater treadmill,” Fuller said. “It had different depths. And every week, I’d be running in it, running and conditioning in it. As my leg started to heal, they’d raise the height of the treadmill so more of my body was out of the water to make it tougher, until I was able to run on turf.”
Fuller said his first day back on turf wasn’t pretty, but he continued to work. The day after, he began conditioning with the team.
All the confidence and physical maturation came to a peak in the annual Lone Star Showdown. On the third offensive play of the game, Fuller ran down the left sideline with five yards of separation between him and the closest defender. Johnson hit him in stride, and Fuller went the rest of the way untouched for the 70 yard score, giving the Aggies a 7-0 lead.
“I couldn’t even describe what was going through my head,” Fuller said. “I was just real excited and happy and hoping that there was no flag.”
Through seven games, Fuller has already tied his own record with nine touchdown receptions, leaving fans to wonder if he will declare early for the NFL Draft and live up to the comparisons of others (wide receivers coach Troy Walters compares him to Andre Johnson). If Fuller keeps with his initial plans of “stay[ing] the whole four years” and getting his degree, however, those comparisons will have to wait.
And with another year to add to his statistical totals, Jeff Fuller possibly could graduate as a man with every receiving record, a college degree and an NFL career in the near future.
Truly larger than life.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *