Today is August 14, 2019, which means we are officially just 17 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. Yesterday, we profiled No. 18, Brandon Flowers, one of the best defensive backs in Virginia Tech history.
For No. 17, we are going to do things a little bit different, much like we did with No. 25. Earlier this morning we profiled No. 17 Shayne Graham, now we look back at former cornerback, Kyle Fuller.
Fuller arrived in Blacksburg in 2010 from Mount Saint Joseph High in Baltimore. He was following in the footsteps of older brother, Vincent, a Hokie defensive back from 2000-04. His other older brother, Corey, transferred to Virginia Tech in 2010 from Kansas to play with Kyle. Corey was a wide receiver. And, of course, there is Kendall. Kendall arrived in 2013 as a five-star cornerback and played three years for the Hokies.
As a freshman in 2010, Fuller played in all 14 games for the Hokies. He made six starts, a pretty incredible feat for a true freshman in Bud Foster’s defense. He made 32 tackles, including four for loss.
In 2011, Fuller would start all 14 games for Virginia Tech. He finished fourth on the team with 65 tackles and led the team with 14.5 tackles for loss. Considering Fuller was primarily a cornerback, that is a ridiculous number. Sure, Fuller played a lot of whip linebacker, but he was still a cornerback. Fuller also had 4.5 sacks, picked off two passes and forced a fumble. It was a breakout season for the sophomore defensive back.
Fuller continued his stellar play as a junior in 2012. He played in all 13 games, starting every game. He was fifth on the team with 52 tackles, including three for loss. Fuller also intercepted two passes. He was allowed to play more cornerback this season after spending a lot of time at whip the previous season.
Instead of going to the NFL, Fuller elected to spend his senior season in Blacksburg. HIs little brother Kendall joined him in another loaded Virginia Tech secondary. Fuller played in nine games, making eight starts as a senior. Unfortunately, Fuller, an ironman of sorts, finally suffered an injury, costing him a few games during his senior season. He would still finish with 24 tackles, two interceptions and blocked a kick.
For his career, Fuller was honored as an All-ACC performer three times. He was also named as a second-team All-American in 2013.
Fuller would have a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, which led to him becoming a first-round pick—14th overall—by the Chicago Bears in the 2014 NFL Draft. Fuller is still a star cornerback for the Bears as he enters his sixth season in 2019. He was named to the all-rookie team in 2014, led the NFL in interceptions in 2018, made his first Pro Bowl in 2018, while also being named a member of the first-team All-Pro squad. That means Fuller is one of the top cornerbacks in the entire NFL.
Fuller had an outstanding career at Virginia Tech. As good as all of his brothers were, he probably had the best collegiate career. He was a starter for four seasons, his intelligence, physicality and athleticism made him an ideal chess piece for Bud Foster to use on defense. Cornerbacks aren’t often as physical as Fuller or younger brother, Kendall. It presented many opportunities for Kyle in college as he could play linebacker, corner or safety, which, in retrospect, is quite remarkable.
The four Fuller brothers are excellent ambassadors for Virginia Tech. Not only were each one of them outstanding as players, but as human beings, too. The only negative aspect of the Fuller family is we don’t have any more brothers in the pipeline.
Don’t be surprised when Kyle is inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. It’s an honor he deserves, however, he still has plenty of years remaining to dominate the NFL. Kyle Fuller, much like Brandon Flowers, is another perfect example of the Hokies taking a three-star prospect and developing them into stars.