All-American wide receiver Will Fuller is heading to the NFL. Notre Dame’s team MVP made the announcement on Sunday, deciding to leave college and turn pro after three years in South Bend.
Fuller released the following statement via Notre Dame and social media:
“First I would like to start off by thanking my coaches, family, teammates, friends and fans that have supported me throughout my football career.
The University of Notre Dame is not just a learning institution. It has afforded me an incomparable life experience, and for this, I will forever be grateful. Playing with Team #127 is an experience I will always celebrate and I have made brothers for life.
My heart truly wanted to return to Notre Dame, but it has also been a lifelong dream to play football in the NFL. After taking all of this into lengthy consideration, I believe it is in my best interest to forgo my senior season and enter the 2016 draft.
I came to Notre Dame to earn a degree from the greatest University in the world, and I will still accomplish that goal.
Again, thank you for all the support and I hope you continue on this journey with me.
Fuller ends his Notre Dame football career with the most prolific two-season stretch of any receiver in school history. He scored 29 touchdowns over the past two years, finishing his junior season with 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns, including an 81-yard score against Ohio State during the Fiesta Bowl. His 2014 season including a school-record tying 15 scores, making 76 catches for 1,094 yards after a quiet freshman campaign that included just six catches.
Notre Dame’s depth chart is as well-equipped to replace Fuller as you could possibly be. While the Irish will need to replace senior Chris Brown, Corey Robinson returns after a strong Fiesta Bowl and a young and talented depth chart is ready to emerge. Rising sophomores Equanimeous St. Brown and Miles Boykin are likely candidates to replace Fuller at the X receiver spot, with players like Torii Hunter Jr. also an option.
There isn’t much consensus on Fuller’s draft status. Even as college football’s premier deep threat, the Philadelphia native is undersized and struggled with drops the past two seasons. It’s notable that Fuller stayed in Arizona after the Fiesta Bowl, likely to begin training and preparations for the NFL scouting combine, held in Indianapolis in late February. Some prognosticators think he’ll be a first round pick, others think he could fall to round two or three.