Fuller Shines in Senior Bowl Prep

ONE LAST TIME Baylor senior center Kyle Fuller blocks a defensive player trying to sack freshman quarterback Zach Smith on Dec. 27 in Phoenix. Baylor won the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl game by a final score of 31-12. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

Baylor senior center Kyle Fuller is making the most of his final college football experience. The Wylie native will be Baylor’s lone representative in the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Fuller will be a member of the North team for Saturday’s game.

According to the Senior Bowl’s official website, the game serves football’s premier senior showcase event. Every year, it features the country’s best senior college football players and top NFL prospects on teams representing the North and South.

For the North, Fuller will be protecting quarterbacks Sefo Liufau of the University of Colorado, Nate Peterman of the University of Pittsburgh and C.J. Beathard of the University of Iowa.

Two fellow Big 12 players, West Virginia cornerback Rasul Douglas and center Tyler Orlosky, will also join him on the North.

Fuller will provide a full resume of experience to the table as he gets set to square off against the South.

After redshirting in 2012, Fuller played in all 52 games, including 39 starts, over the next four seasons. He was an All-Big 12 honorable mention in 2014, All-Big 12 second team player in 2015 and All-Big 12 first team in 2016.

According to senior quarterback Seth Russell, during Fuller’s tenure at Baylor, the senior center was always seen as the anchor of the offensive line, and his consistency was his trademark.

“One thing he has is consistency. He brings a mental toughness to the offensive side of the ball. He has a lot of experience, which helps with our tempo,” Russell said. “He helps the guys up front. If they have a question, he’s able to relay to them pretty quick, which allows our tempo to stay pretty fast.”

Practice began earlier in the week for the Senior Bowl, and Fuller has been grabbing the attention of scouts and reporters from all around the NFL.

Brandon Thorn, a scout for Inside the Pylon, has been impressed with Fuller’s movement and ability to incorporate a variety of blocking techniques.

“Kyle Fuller has looked very good today,” Thorn said on his Twitter account. “Getting around on reach blocks and anchoring in the pass pro. Generating movement at the point of attack as well.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter Trevor Sikkema was impressed with how Fuller was able to control some of the best defensive lineman prospects at the line of scrimmage.

“Kyle Fuller just stonewalled defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson lined up at the one technique. That was impressive,” Sikkema said.

Fuller even received praise from his former head coach Art Briles, who showed up watch practice on Wednesday.

In Drew Davison’s Jan. 25 article for the Star Telegram about Briles and his desire to coach again, Davison shared Briles’ admiration for his former center.

“He’s just one of our guys. Great person, great player, just a quality human being,” Briles said. “Just really proud of the leadership he provided for five years at Baylor, how he represented himself. If you look up non-flawed, you’d pull up Kyle Fuller.”

The 68th Annual Reese’s Senior Bowl will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The game will air on the NFL Network, and live stats will also be available at seniorbowl.com during the game.

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