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Breakfast: Fuller wasn’t always fast?

Posted Feb 28, 2018

Will Fuller V clocked the second-fastest time at the NFL Combine in 2016, but didn't always consider himself a fast wide receiver.

Two years ago, Will Fuller V clocked the second-fastest time at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.

4.32 seconds.

Yet in an interview with Fuller last season, he revealed that he did not consider speed his biggest asset before college.

“A lot of people think I’m playing about that but I never really looked at myself as a fast receiver in high school,” Fuller said on Texans Radio. “Even just looking back at my highlights, sometimes I got caught from the back and I guess things changed in college. Once I got there, the weightlifting program was different so I’m guessing that helped me a lot, to get my legs stronger. I really base my receiver skills on how I ran my routes. I guess that’s why I’m a pretty good route runner and the speed just helped me a lot now.”

Bill O’Brien met Fuller in 2012 at a local high school football camp in Pennsylvania. O’Brien was the head coach at Penn State at the time, while Fuller was a student at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. Fuller may not considered himself fast, but his speed was the first thing O’Brien noticed.

“One of the things I remember about him is when he drove from Philly to Penn State for that camp that everybody's talking about,” O’Brien said after the 2016 NFL Draft. “I think he jumped out of the car and Fitzy (Craig Fitzgerald), our strength coach at the time…said 'hey, get on the starting line and run your 40.' I think he ran a 4.3 right out of the car driving from three and a half hours away, so we knew he could run. We said this would be a guy that we would like to have in our program.”

O’Brien offered the young wideout a scholarship to Penn State on the spot, but would have to wait a few more years before having Fuller play for him. In the meantime, Fuller improved both his speed and route-running in his three seasons at Notre Dame (2013-15). While O’Brien couldn’t overlook Fuller’s blazing speed as a high school student, his route-running skills definitely impressed him during the draft process.

“I would tell you that when you watch film of this guy, he runs a lot of different types of routes,” O’Brien said. “There’s all different kinds of versions of the spread offense in college with Baylor and Texas Tech and then you have Notre Dame’s type of offense that they run. They run a lot of similar routes as to what we do.”

The Texans selected Fuller with a first-round pick (21st overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2017 with Deshaun Watson, Fuller scored seven touchdowns on his first 13 receptions of the season.

Content on does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.

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