Sibling rivalries always spur competition inside the household, but it has also extended into the heart of the Virginia Tech football team because of the Fuller family.
Three Fuller brothers are either playing for or have played at Tech so far, with the fourth brother, Kendall, coming next year.
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Coming into the season, it was Kyle Fuller, a junior cornerback, that was in the spotlight of the family, but his older brother Corey has joined him.
Corey Fuller started the season the team's fourth wide receiver, but he’s become an integral part of the offense this year in much the same fashion that Kyle became a key cog in the defense in 2011.
“I like to make the big plays when we need a big play,” Corey said. “I think it’s more dramatic, so I like that.”
Fuller has established a clear connection with quarterback Logan Thomas, as he’s emerged as the offense’s most reliable target on important third downs.
“Corey’s a great player, and he does a great job getting open and sometimes the coverages roll to Marcus (Davis) or Dyrell (Roberts), so it leaves Corey one-on-one,” Thomas said. “He was able to make a couple big catches throughout the year and a couple Thursday as well.”
Although the offense has struggled as a whole, Fuller has enjoyed the best statistical season of his career, catching 36 passes for 671 yards and five touchdowns. However, it’s been a challenge for the receiver to balance his personal success with the team’s disappointing season.
“I talked to my mother, and I said ‘We still lost’ and she said ‘Don’t hang your head, you had a good game,' but I feel like I could’ve done more,” Fuller said. “That’s why I don’t really glorify in my moments, since a loss is a loss no matter how you put it.”
Coming into the season, it didn’t seem as if Fuller would see the field all that much for the Hokies, but the season-ending injury to D.J. Coles and his early success ensured he’d play a big role on the offense.
“Before the season started, D.J. was still here, so I thought I’d be coming in as the fourth receiver,” Fuller said. “So when D.J. came out, I just stepped into the position, and I just got open on those particular plays and I took advantage of the opportunity.”
Fuller attributes his improvement to the increased time in practice his new stature as the slot receiver has afforded him.