LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The family connection was always there for ESPN 150 cornerback Kendall Fuller (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel). His oldest brother, former Hokies standout safety Vincent Fuller, was a fourth-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. Brother Corey Fuller is a fifth-year senior split end and a standout track and field athlete at Virginia Tech, while junior cornerback Kyle Fuller is a second-team All-ACC selection in 2011.
But as Kendall Fuller drove home from a college trip two weeks ago, his mom thought for sure he was headed elsewhere.
“People thought I was playing, but I loved Clemson,” Fuller said. “It was a very hard decision. Distance was not a factor, even though my mother did not want me to go too far from home. When we were on our way back from Clemson, she already thought I was going there because it was the first time any of her children talked about any other school. She thought I was sold on Clemson and was going there.”
On Sunday at the Champion Gridiron Kings championships, which were live to a national audience on ESPN3/WatchESPN, Fuller announced his decision to commit to Virginia Tech, giving the Hokies their 15th commitment and highest rated prospect to date in the 2013 class. In the end, it came down to his development at the next level.
“As I was driving home from the visit to Clemson, I started thinking about where I was going to develop most as a player,” Fuller said. “I just got that feeling that I knew I wanted to go to Virginia Tech. Their defense is so complex that you never know what they are going to be doing. Coach (Bud) Foster and Coach (Torrian) Gray are amazing coaches. They have a track record of great defensive backs that Coach Gray has produced. Just sitting in the room watching film and seeing some of the different techniques, I just felt that the only way I could fail was if I did not work hard.”
The nation's No. 20 prospect feels that Virginia Tech does a great job developing players, regardless of where they are ranked coming out of high school.
“Virginia Tech is never going to have a class that blows you away, but they definitely produce good players,” he said.
Fuller says he was never pressured to follow his brothers’ path to Blacksburg, but he admitted that his family certainly approved of the decision.
“When I told my mom Thursday I was going to Virginia Tech, she just jumped up and was happy,” he said. “My brothers did not say anything, really, about coming to Virginia Tech. We were in a group and I told them I was committing at Gridiron Kings. I told them Clemson to play around with them, and my oldest brother just wanted to know the reasons why. Then I told them I was kidding and I was going to Virginia Tech, and they were all pretty excited.”
Although he is not sure he will take visits to other schools, Fuller is ready to move on to the next stage in his life.
“I do not know if I will be taking official visits because I have not talked to the Virginia Tech coaches,” Fuller said. “They have to respect me but I also have to respect them. It is a relief to have the recruiting process pretty much over, and all I have to worry about is my senior season."