Virginia Tech’s Corey Fuller following in brother’s footsteps to NFL

Growing up in Baltimore, Corey Fuller always found himself trying to keep up with his big brother, Vince, in whatever backyard sports games he and his friends were playing.  Vince, eight years Corey’s senior, went on to play football at Virginia Tech and then in the NFL.

A defensive back for the Tennessee Titans for seven seasons, and one more with the Detroit Lions, Vince Fuller served as a role model for Corey and their two other brothers, both on and off the field. Corey wound up following in Vince’s footsteps, playing at Virginia Tech, and now appears set to continue to the NFL. Along the way, Vince has given him advice that has helped him get where he is today – a wide receiver projected to go between the third and fifth rounds of the draft.

“I learned a lot from him as far as just being a man. I always look up to him on and off the field. He set a big example for me and my brothers and we just try to follow his footsteps,” Corey Fuller said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday. “And then, on the field, as far as him being a defensive back, he’s shown me a lot of things that he does against other receivers, and technique when they do this or that, so I’ve learned from him a lot.”

Initially, it looked as if Fuller wouldn’t be able to play at Tech like his older brother. He started at quarterback for two years at Woodlawn High School, but the team struggled mightily, and college football teams showed little interest. But Fuller was a Nike All-American in track and earned a scholarship to Kansas, where the football coaches also welcomed him to walk on to the team.

After two years, the Jayhawks changed football coaches, so Fuller decided to transfer to Virginia Tech and joined his younger brother, Kyle, on the team. (The fourth Fuller brother, Kendall, will play for Virginia Tech next season).  After serving as a backup in 2010 and 2011, Fuller finally cracked the starting lineup as a senior, recorded a team-high six touchdowns and finished second on the squad in both catches (43) and receiving yards (815).

Now, the 6-foot-2, 196-pound wideout is working to impress NFL coaches and officials. He has impressed with his size and his 4.36-second 40-yard dash speed. But Fuller believes that the numbers he put up this past season for the Hokies are only an indication of what he can do.

“I am not fully developed,” Fuller said. “I have a lot more to learn, but I’m fully confident in how I’ve developed and where it can take me. I’ve been working on route running, making everything the same, coming out of my breaks. I’ve been working with Antonio Freeman, and I’ve learned a lot from him in just a few days. I’ve been hearing teams like my upside.

“This is just a blessing to be here,” he added. “Coming into the season, I was the No. 4 receiver, and I just made a name for myself. As far as being here, I’ve heard a lot of stories on where people may or may not go, but I’m just going to try to prove to scouts, GMs, owners, receivers coaches, coaches, everything, just prove I can compete with the best of them.”

Follow Mike Jones on Twitter.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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Mark Maske · February 22, 2013