Who Else Was Interested
Fuller’s commitment was a bit of a surprise to Nebraska, considering he committed to the Huskers sight unseen with over a year before signing day. The biggest reason Fuller committed is his tremendous relationship with Nebraska cornerback coach Donte Williams. He selected Nebraska over 10 other FBS offers, including tenders from Oklahoma, UCLA and USC. Now that Nebraska won the initial battle for Fuller, it will be interesting to see if the Huskers can keep him, as USC and UCLA will both make big pushes for Fuller before the 2018 recruiting cycle is over.
Fuller measures in at 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds and has an extremely athletic frame. He is extremely lean and has almost no bad weight on him. Fuller doesn’t have a huge frame, but he does still have some room to fill out in his upper body as he matures. When Fuller is done filling out, I would expect him to measure in at 5-foot-9 and around 175 pounds.
His speed: I firmly believe that by the end of this summer Fuller will be considered one of fastest prospects in the entire country. Before his junior year Fuller ran a 4.41 40 and an absolutely insane 3.95 in the shuttle. To put that in perspective, a 4.2 shuttle time is considered elite for wide receiver prospects so Fuller is three tenths of a second faster than elite. That speed and quickness will make him a dangerous and versatile receiving weapon for Nebraska and he has the quickness and straight-line speed to turn 5-yard routes into 50-yard touchdowns in the blink of an eye. Fuller continues Nebraska’s emphasis on speed and he will bring explosion to a Nebraska offense that struggled to create big plays in 2016. Fuller’s speed and quickness also makes him a great fit for Nebraska’s return units, as he can bring tremendous explosion to the special teams units.
His hands/concentration: Fuller isn’t a big receiver, so he has to compensate for his lack of size with timing and concentration as a pass catcher to bring in 50/50 balls. Fuller does this very well and he does a solid job of tracking the football in the air and attacking the ball with his hands instead of allowing the ball into his chest. This makes Fuller a truly effective receiver and not just a one trick pony with speed, as he is able to consistently reel in difficult catches.
His competitiveness: Hawkins is arguably the most talented high school in the country and Fuller spent his junior season going up against Greg Johnson and Marcus Johnson, two of the finest defensive back prospects in the nation. This level of competition benefits Fuller because he had to fight for every offensive rep he got, leading to him playing with incredible tenacity and competitiveness on film. Keith Williams loves wide receivers that play with a chip on their shoulder (Stanley Morgan, J.D. Spielman and Tyjon Lindsey, anyone?) and Fuller fits that mold perfectly.
His versatility: Fuller can play just about any skill position he wants in college and his speed, quickness and tenacity make him a truly dangerous and versatile threat. This gives Nebraska a lot of versatility in its 2018 class, a necessity when you have a small class like Nebraska will have. I personally think that Fuller is too dynamic to play on defense and I want him at receiver, but I wouldn’t complain if Nebraska chooses to play him at cornerback and turns him loose on special teams. Fuller will succeed at whatever position he chooses to play at Nebraska; the coaches just need to decide which position they want him to play at.
Settling on one position at Nebraska: As I stated earlier, Fuller can play just about any skill position at Lincoln, but I think it is important that Nebraska settles on a plan for Fuller early and sticks with it. My biggest worry for dynamic athletes that can play multiple positions is that they get overloaded early in their careers and never truly master a position (USC’s Adoree Jackson is a good example of this). Nebraska needs to find a position for Fuller and let him master it during his first year on campus, then expand his role as he matures and becomes more comfortable with the playbook.
Finding his role in the Nebraska offense: Fuller isn’t the biggest wide receiver at just 5-foot-9, so Nebraska has to get creative in how he will be used in Lincoln. Just putting him out wide and having him run fly routes is not the best way to use him. It might work a few times, but it severely limits his potential in Nebraska’s offense. Utilizing Fuller in the “James Rodgers” role would make Fuller a truly dangerous threat for Nebraska’s offense and not just an undersized speed demon.
Getting Fuller out of California was an incredible recruiting victory for Nebraska, as Fuller is arguably the most dynamic threat in the entire state of California. Fuller immediately improves Nebraska’s team speed on whatever the side of the ball he plays on. This is a big recruiting win for Donte Williams, who landed two big time prospects out of California in consecutive weeks, proving once again that he is one of the finest recruiters in the nation.
College comparison: Smaller version of Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott
Pro comparison: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel