The Washington Post

NFL Combine: Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller set to follow brothers’ footsteps

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller (17) is projected as a second-round pick. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – Growing up as the third of four active boys, Virginia Tech cornerback and NFL draft prospect Kyle Fuller knows a thing or two about competition. It didn’t really matter what he and brothers Vincent, Corey and Kendall did, they always found a way to turn it into a battle. Video games, backyard football games, basketball games, foot races – they all wanted to win.

The never-ending competition helped each become exceptional athletes.

The boys all developed into standout football players and shared the dream of reaching the NFL. Those dreams became a reality for Vincent, who spent seven years in the league, and Corey, whom the Detroit Lions drafted in the sixth round last year.

Now Kyle ranks among one of the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft class. (Kendall just concluded his freshman season at Virginia Tech – where the first three Fuller boys played as well).

“It means a lot. It definitely makes you want to get to that level,” Kyle Fuller said on Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Definitely keeps you humble, makes you continue to work hard to get there. I believe it shows all the hard work and focus that my brothers have had to get there, and I’m thankful for that.

“I’m very competitive, especially with my brothers,” he added. “That’s definitely helped me to where I am now. We always want to be better than the next guy or each other, whether it’s how fast we are, the plays we make.”

This past season, the 5-foot-11, 194-pound Fuller was a first-team all-ACC selection by the conference’s coaches despite being limited by injury to nine games. He made 24 tackles, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups this past season.

Fuller credits Vincent for his style of play. Both are defensive backs, as is Kendall, while Corey is a wide receiver. Kyle Fuller developed physical style of play from watching Vincent. He shares the same kind of versatility that enables him to play both on the outside, and inside against opposing slot receivers.

“He’s a great player,” fellow Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum said at the Combine. “He’s very versatile, great cover skills.”

This offseason, Fuller has trained in Florida at the facility of noted strength and speed coach Tom Shaw. Corey has trained there as well as he prepares for his second NFL season.

Last season, Corey Fuller clocked a blazing 40-yard dash time of 4.32 seconds at the combine. Ever the competitor, Kyle Fuller said that his goal is to top his brother’s time.

Fuller currently projects as a second-round pick, but he hopes that with an impressive 40 time and interviews with teams that he can increase his stock. NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock does believe that a first-round selection is possible.

“I would love that,” Fuller said. “That’s one of my goals. All I can do is show someone what I can do. I can believe I’m a first-round pick, but I’m not focusing on that.”

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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