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July 29, 2012
Olney (Md.) Good Counsel cornerback Kendall Fuller was going to wait to make his decision, possibly as late as the U.S. Army All American Bowl in January. However, after back-to-back visits to Clemson and Virginia Tech and a long discussion with his family, the nation's top cornerback decided now was the time to choose. And coaches and fans in Blacksburg are very happy.
"I decided it was time, and I am committed to Virginia Tech," the 5-foot-11, 189-pounder told us before making his decision live on ESPN3 at the Gridiron Kings event near Orlando, Fla. "It came down to a lot of things, but I guess you could say the main thing it came down to was comfort. I know Frank Beamer, I know Bud Foster, I know Torrian Gray - those guys are like family to me, they are like family to everyone, almost like uncles. I really loved Clemson, and it's such a great program and it made things really tough; but I know how Virginia Tech develops players from my family and that's an unknown everywhere else."
Fuller has had the benefit of watching his brothers Kyle, Corey and Kyle develop as players in Blacksburg, and it's hard to beat a trio of brothers and a family tradition. But Clemson almost did it.
"Clemson did a great job recruiting me," he said. "Coach Scott, coach Venables and coach Swinney are all great and Clemson reminded me a lot of Virginia Tech. They are both small-town programs that have great people around it. I think I even liked the environment at Clemson a little better than Tech, and they have a great wide receiver core that could make me better. But I know what I'll get at Virginia Tech: I'll get great coaching, I'll play for the team that is the best in the ACC and I'll hopefully develop into a great college player and an NFL player as well."
Fuller, ranked as the No. 3 player in the country, was also interested in Michigan, USC and others, but this was a two-horse race for awhile. His teammate, Dorian O'Daniel, is headed to Clemson and the two will look forward to facing off down the line in some ACC battles.
"It was tempting to go to Clemson with Dorian because he's like family as well," he said. "But we both knew we had to do what was best for us. Hopefully we'll compete for ACC titles down the road and get to play against each other a lot."
In the meantime, Fuller is the biggest commitment to Virginia Tech arguably since Kevin Jones over a decade ago. And he'll be the type of recruit that attracts others to the fold even if it's next season.
"I will recruit for Virginia Tech," he said. "I'll work on some guys and tell them why I chose the Hokies, and it is for many other reasons than just my brothers going there. I chose them because I still think they are the best program in the ACC and you get the best coaching."