EASLEY—Easley High’s standout running back says he will play his college football in Death Valley.
Easley junior CJ Fuller committed to Clemson on Monday, making his college decision final before the Green Wave gets its season underway this fall.
“It’s exciting to see him get to play at a place he’s always wanted to play,” Easley Coach Grayson Howell said. “This just means he’s figured out what the next step in his life is. That will be a bonus for him.”
Fuller’s former coach Chad Smith said it could not have happened to a better player.
“He’s always liked Clemson,” Smith said. “He was a Clemson fan growing up. CJ did a great job for us during my entire time at Easley. He comes from a great family that does a lot for Easley High School. He’ll be a great representative for Easley at Clemson.”
Easley Athletic Director Chris Carter said Fuller will bring a wide-array of talents to Clemson’s already talented offense in 2014.
“Sometimes the kids that have the most ability aren’t the kids that play the hardest, but with CJ, he puts them both together,” said Carter. “That’s what makes him special. Football is really important to him, and it is refreshing to watch a young man take what God has given him and make the most out of it.”
Howell said Fuller never seeks out attention for his accomplishments, which makes his commitment even more special.
“CJ never looks for spotlight or attention so this is really neat to see him accomplish one of his goals,” Howell said. “These past few days he has really had an extra pep in his step.”
Howell said the team will rely on Fuller throughout the 2013 season.
“He is a big part of our program and we just need him to be productive this season and do what he’s capable of doing,” Howell said. “He has natural God-given ability and we need him to use that this year. He’s going to be one of the keys for the offense, and hopefully this won’t add any pressure for him.”
Smith said Fuller’s skill set makes him a valuable addition for any coach.
“He has some serious God-given attributes,” Smith said. “He is naturally strong and you can’t coach the kind of speed he has. People should look at CJ Fuller as an example of what coaches are looking for. With the scheme we ran at Easley, certain people thought that would hurt the recruiting process. CJ is a kid that showed up, did what we asked him to do and showed out on the field.
You try to tell kids all the time if they buy into the program, good things are going to happen,” Smith said. “CJ is definitely talented and he’s reaping the benefits of it now.”
Carter said Fullers decision is encouraging for others on Easley’s roster as well.
“I think it was encouraging for our kids,” said Carter. “Some of our kids felt like they were possibly being overlooked by Clemson because they had offered so many kids from Daniel. To break that train of thought from our kids was pretty good.
CJ is such a special kid,” Carter continued. “He is so humble with what he does. On our campus he’s just another kid, but when he puts those pads on he is something special. We’re really excited for CJ and our school.”