Cornerback Kyle Fuller hasn’t tired of questions about his younger brother Kendall, a five-star 2013 recruit from Our Lady of Good Counsel in Baltimore who has Virginia Tech and Clemson as his top two.
Kendall is the youngest brother of the Fuller clan, a group that includes Vincent, a safety who played at Tech from 2001-04 before going on to the NFL, Corey, currently a senior wide receiver, and Kyle, a junior cornerback who was a second-team All-ACC pick last year.
Kyle said Kendall has handled the process like a pro, obviously getting a few pointers over the years.
“He’s the last one, so he’s picked up everything,” Kyle said.
Kendall was at Virginia Tech last weekend for a one-day camp and made a visit to Clemson this weekend (Kyle hadn’t had a chance to talk to him to see how his visit went). How split is his decision? Kendall recently had the Virginia Tech and Clemson logos shaved on opposite sides of his head.
Kyle, who said he doesn’t know which school his brother will pick or when, hasn’t pressured him much.
“I used to just sit back,” he said. “Recently I’ve been saying a little bit more. Not too much, but he knows what I want him to do.”
His sales pitch?
“Our defense. Why wouldn’t he want to play for a dominating defense on a team that wins?”
As for their styles, there are some similarities that Kyle sees.
“I see some of the things he does are the techniques that we do at Tech,” Kyle said. “I’ve said that to him, so I definitely see him similar to myself. Maybe even better.”
Lots of notes and quotes to get to from today. We’ll hit them up bullet-point style:
- Big props to Fuller, who was a trooper through all the Kendall questions today. That line of questioning came up three times in the 18 minutes that I sat there by him. I’m sure that whatever he says outwardly, it’s got to be a little annoying to get asked more about that than his season coming up.
- Asked who the best athlete at the event was, Fuller paused for a second before joking, “I would have to say myself but I can’t do that.” He never did come up with an answer.
- If ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. is correct, Thomas will be a coveted quarterback by the NFL after the season. But the junior said he wouldn’t even think about going pro unless it is still a viable option come December. “I think any decision would be tough,” he said. “If you’re rated a top-five pick, it’s tough not to go and take the money. At the same time, leaving Blacksburg would be extremely tough for me, because that means leaving home, leaving my friends and moving on into the real world, as they say.”
- Kiper, by the way, has Thomas as the fourth-rated prospect in the 2013 draft behind USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and LSU defensive tackle Barkevious Mingo.
- Thomas is up for about every major college award this year, but he isn’t one to seek out the attention. In fact, he’s a little shy about it. “I’m not one to really go out and be in the limelight, so it’s really weird for me to go out and see myself on TV and have people come up to me for my picture and autograph,” he said. “That’s still weird to me. I’m still getting adjusted to it. But I guess I’ve got to get used to it. I’m more of a homebody for me than anything else. I like to hide a little bit. I’m a bit of a recluse. But it’s not bad.”
- Count Thomas among those happy to see kicker Cody Journell back on the team after a seven-month suspension following an arrest on a breaking and entering charge in December. Journell agreed to a misdemeanor trespassing plea two months ago, fulfilled his 100 hours of community service this summer and was let back on the team Friday. “Cody just made one mistake,” Thomas said. “It’s definitely nice to have him back. He’s a good person and a good kicker…. Obviously he messed up, but it’s nice to have him back. And we’re not going to be on his back about it. Hopefully we can get him straightened out a little bit.”
- Thomas seemed very at ease Sunday. Here’s how he described his current state: “I would say there are no nerves, no worries. Last year I really didn’t know what to expect going in. This year I’m pretty confident in myself and pretty confident in what this team can do.” He embraced the leadership role even more this spring. “I think the guys look up to me,” he said. “I think I can still look up to my guys. They follow that one person and I’m honored to be that one person.”
- Thomas said quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain told him to work on one thing in particular this offseason: footwork. “Because that will make me more accurate,” he said. “And I listened to that one thing and have been trying to work on it as much as I can. Drills after drills just to get better in that thing. And he’s right. I can feel the difference from when I’m stepping up in the pocket and delivering it.”
- Think Virginia Tech was properly motivated this offseason? ‘Thomas does. More so than perhaps previous years. “I think we’ve had a completely different mentality this year than I’ve seen my first three years here,” he said. “Everybody has wanted to work this summer. There’s been no groaning or whining about going out there. It’s a blessing just to have the defensive guys go out there. It’s just the mentality of not settling for second best. Not taking any days off. An ACC championship is something that we expect now. We don’t want to stop there. We want to make something better.”
- Our columnist Aaron McFarling had some good stuff from Logan on the offensive line here. There might be four new starters, but Thomas doesn’t think they’re as inexperienced as many are making it seem. “We say it’s a new offensive line, but [Nick] Becton’s seen a lot of time, [David] Wang and [Andrew] Miller and [Vinston] Painter, all those guys have been working together. And Michael Via is still there, so they all know each other. … I have no worry whatsoever with those guys. We’re deep in those positions. We’re strong in those positions. And we’ve got a lot of leadership as well, which is always a plus.”
- If you haven’t heard, head coach Frank Beamer lost 32 pounds this offseason. Logan likes the look. “Hopefully he’s a lot healthier and it gives him a couple more years down the road,” he said.
- Thomas will golf Monday in the media event here at the Grandover. He picked up the game a few years back and said he shoots in the mid-90s. He sounds like quite a big gun off the tee. “If I can hit it straight it’s the best part of my game,” he said. “I can hit it about 300 on a regular basis.” (My guess is teams be a lot happier to see Thomas in their group tomorrow than this duffer.)