He was big, strong and fast, but I held my own against the mighty William Fuller.
The scouting report on the Braves kept coming back to this disruptive force along the defensive line. My coaches told me over and over that if we stop Fuller, we would have a chance to win. I remember being a little nervous but excited to block one of the area’s best defenders.
I played two games against Fuller back in the glory days. My first meeting was my Sophomore year. I played tight end for Princess Anne High School and Fuller played defensive tackle for Indian River. When we had the ball, we banged heads on nearly every play. I remember being glad those games were over, but also proud of my efforts against a soon to be two-time college All-American and 13 year NFL player.
Fuller went on to be one of the greatest defensive players ever at the University of North Carolina. He still holds the UNC record for career tackles for loss with 57. He becomes only the 5th player in UNC football history to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Soon after my Junior season, Fuller and I were named to the 1979 Virginian Pilot All-Tidewater Football Team and became casual friends.
Since Fuller was one year ahead of me in school, I was able to use him during my recruiting trip to the University of North Carolina. Fuller gave me some honest advice about the Tar Heel coaching staff that helped me make my college decision. I appreciated his honesty at the time and chose Virginia Tech over UNC.
Those matchups against Fuller were a real challenge and made my high school career more rewarding. Great players will make you elevate your game and Fuller did that for me.
I want to congratulate Fuller for being named to the College Football Hall of Fame class of 2016.