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June 11, 2012
Fuller ready for pressure of Challenge
Dallas Jackson is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
Being ranked as one of the top players in the country has placed a bull's eye on the back of Olney (Md.) Good Counsel cornerback Kendall Fuller at practically every camp and combine he has attended.
The hype has always been high on the No. 3 overall player and No. 1 cornerback in the country, but it grew to new proportions when Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst, Mike Farrell, took to Twitter boasting that Fuller may push for the No. 1 overall ranking - something no cornerback has ever done.
"I saw it," Fuller said. "It is a blessing in itself. It is an honor to be discussed at that level."
Whether Fuller is able to stake the claim is yet to be determined, but what is certain is that the proclamation has made Fuller an even bigger target at the upcoming Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge.
The invitation-only camp and 7-on-7 will feature 100 of the best players in the country taking the field at Lakewood Stadium in South Atlanta from June 22-24. For Fuller, it will be another weekend of taking on the best each opponent has to offer.
"As a corner you are already out there on an island and the eyes and pressure is already on you," Fuller said. "I know that I am going to get the best from everyone that goes against me.
"Anywhere I go I get the best someone has but I like it that way."
The 5-foot-11, 189 pound prospect estimates that he had three interceptions and allowed five receptions against him during his junior year, and with his elevated rankings and major college offers from coast to coast, it doesn't figure that many more passes will come his way during the upcoming season.
It is that reason Fuller opts to do more during the summer circuit than most elite-level players choose to do.
"It is fun to get out there and compete," he said. "It never gets tiresome being the guy that people are giving it their all against. That is why I am out there to be honest.
"I enjoy it. Knowing I am going to get someone's A-game on every rep keeps me mentally involved."
According to Fuller it is staying mentally sharp that helps him maintain his level of play and he credits his three brothers for the focus on that area of the game.
Two of his older brothers, Corey and Kyle, play at Virginia Tech. His eldest brother, Vincent, has played seven seasons in the NFL.
Kyle and Vincent are both cornerbacks while Corey is a receiver.
Each has emphasized the mental aspect as well as the physical.
"They have helped me grow a lot," Fuller said. "Each in different ways with technical stuff as well as staying involved in the game mentally."
Fuller's trip to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge will certainly keep him engaged as plenty of receivers have circled him as a target for one-on-ones.
For those that want to take a run at Fuller he said that the weak spot in his game is on the deep ball, if you can get off the line and then beat his speed.
"The deep ball you might be able to get me," he said. "It is not a given though, but you might be able to, maybe."
Mike Farrell's take
Fuller will be the No. 1 target for all the wide receivers at the event and he thrives on the challenge. He wanted us to invite some of the biggest wide outs in the country so he could show how he can handle bigger guys. The matchup between him and Ricky Seals-Jones will be one of the highlights of the event. Fuller could be the most instinctual cornerback we've ever ranked at Rivals.com.