Will Fuller V warmed up for his final home game in South Bend as Texans general manager Rick Smith was arriving to scout Notre Dame's leading wide receiver.
Heading into the Nov. 15 game against Wake Forest, Fuller was a top draft prospect. He ranked fourth in the nation with 12 receiving touchdowns and second in school history with 28 career touchdown catches.
Unfortunately, Fuller wasn't off to a great start that day.
He had just one catch for three yards through the first three quarters, as the Fighting Irish took a 21-7 lead heading into the fourth. Smith wouldn't see the rest of the game.
"I left because I had to get on the plane to get back here to our game," Smith said on Texans Radio. "As I'm walking out of the stadium, I hear the roar of the crowd and that's when he caught the long ball."
Fuller caught a 22-yard pass from DeShone Kizer on second-and-8 on Notre Dame's first posession of the fourth quarter. Four plays later, the Irish scored and took a 28-7 lead. Fuller finished with 3 receptions for 37 yards, leading the Notre Dame receivers.
Fuller followed up with impressive performance in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State with six catches for 113 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown.
The Texans would move up in the 2016 NFL Draft to select Fuller in the first round with the 21st overall pick. Smith and Fuller have shared a laugh about the circumstances of that November game, nearly nine months later in training camp.
"I think when you watch the guy, you know, everybody expects him to stretch the field," Smith said. "He can run fast straight ahead but he is a better route runner than I think people give him credit for. At least, he surprised me in that area."
Check out the best shots from Will Fuller's Texans photo shoot.