METAIRIE, La. -- Almost every high school football player sets a goal of becoming an Under Armour All-American during their senior year, but only a fraction of those deep down inside know they’ll actually achieve that goal. Cornerback Kristian Fulton was one of those players with that objective, but there was also no way in the world he was going to come up short.
That’s why it was really no surprise to see him standing in front of his classmates, teammates, coaches and family Tuesday being presented with his official Under Armour game jersey Tuesday at a ceremony at Metairie (Louisiana) Archbishop Rummel High School.
“It was expected,” Fulton, the nation’s No. 35 player and third-ranked cornerback, said. “I've worked so hard to get this accomplishment and one of my goals in my senior year was to be an All-American. I wasn’t going to come up short. I couldn’t let anything get in my way of making my dream come true. It still really hasn’t sunk in yet that this is really happening, and probably won’t until I get to Orlando, but I was confident I was going to make this a reality.”
That confidence is something the great ones have. And there’s no question Fulton, who has yet to decide but is favoring LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Miami, is one of the best of the best in Louisiana and the entire country. Along with his lofty national and position ranking, Fulton is the fourth-best player in a 2016 Louisiana class that’s absolutely loaded.
“You have to be really confident in yourself, but you have to also avoid being cocky,” Fulton said. “That's something that my high school coaches here have helped me with in practice. Coming in as a freshman, it's a big program and it was a real challenge. It was just something I had to build up over the years. They got me that way. I'm confident in myself now.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Fulton has tremendous athletic ability to back up that belief in himself.
“His instincts are fabulous,” Rummel co-defensive coordinator Nick Monica said. “He's got great ball skills. When you put those two things together, it puts you around the ball a lot. It gives you a chance to make plays. We've also moved him to somewhat of a nickelback for us. He's an excellent blitzer. We wish we could blitz him more than we do because he makes things happen whenever we do send him. But he's such a good cover guy that we need him there as well. He's so instinctive that he can make a play in the backfield as well as he can in the secondary.”
Fans in Louisiana and of the schools recruiting him are all very aware of Fulton’s talents, but he’s looking forward to showcasing his talents on the national stage the Under Armour game presents. He’s also excited about the opportunity to battle top-five ranked receivers like Kyle Davis, Nate Craig-Myers, Devin Duvernay and N'keal Harry in the practices and the game.
“I'm ready to go up against some great guys and see where I'm at with my game,” Fulton said. “I'm going to be going against some great receivers, so they're going to get me better and I'm going to get them better. It's a chance to prove I'm the best corner out there.
“Fans are going to see a great player, a hard worker, and I'm going to show I give 100 percent every practice. I also hope I show that I like to learn a lot about the game of football. I'm always trying to learn more. The coaches out there are going to really get me better, too.”
And while Fulton was confident he was going to become an Under Armour All-American, he said that certainty doesn’t diminish how big of a deal the honor is.
“Just being in the game is something I’ll never forget,” Fulton said. “I know a lot of great players came through there. I remember watching Vernon Hargreaves III and how he stole the show at the game. I can't believe I'm going to be on the same stage as he was. It’s truly a dream come true.”