Posted on: November 24, 2011 12:21 pm
Texas A&M head coach is looking for a spark from his senior receiver Jeff Fuller. In benching him last week against Kansas, he may have served notice that the Aggies will need Fuller to play well against rival Texas tonight.
Fuller has been one of the most disappointing prospects this season. The 6-3, 220 pounder earned First Team All Big 12 honors last year with 72 catches for 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns. Entering the season he was widely considered among the top pro prospects of the 2012 senior class earning first round grades from some scouts.
This season, however, Fuller has really struggled with drops. He has caught 56 passes for 602 yards and four touchdowns but has been overtaken by junior Ryan Swope as the Aggies' most dependable receiver. Being overtaken as the primary target in an offense wouldn't necessarily be noteworthy to scouts, but in this case it is. Fuller is the most prolific receiver in Texas A&M's history, owning the career records in virtually every category.
To be fair, Fuller has shown a great deal of toughness in battling through several injuries this fall. A hamstring that kept Fuller out much of fall camp was just preview of injuries to come. Fuller has been hampered with injuries to his ankle and knee as well and suffered a concussion against Texas Tech.
Due to his struggles, Fuller has slipped significantly on NFLDraftScout.com's board. He entered the year projected as a first round pick. He's now our 14th rated receiver and viewed as the No. 122th rated prospect, overall.
Texas A&M's move to the SEC next year makes tonight's game all the bigger. Fuller (and quarterback Ryan Tannehill) could help his pro stock significantly with a strong performance in the pressure-packed atmosphere. This may be a weaker than normal season for Texas, but the Longhorns always feature a strong secondary and this season is no different. The Longhorns rank first in the Big 12 in pass defense and have allowed only two more touchdowns passing this season (nine) than they've had interceptions.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:32 pm
LSU junior Patrick Peterson, who I currently project to be the first cornerback to ever be the No. 1 overall pick in an NFL Draft , is one half of a spectacular individual matchup that makes for must-watch scouting in tonight's Cotton Bowl.
Unless you are a fan of Big 12 football, you may not know Jeff Fuller, but he's quietly ascended among the top ten wide receiver prospects potentially available for the 2011 draft.
The 6-3, 215 pound Fuller is the Aggies' Von Miller on offense -- a superstar that must be accounted for on every single snap. Having caught nine, seven and 12 touchdowns over his three seasons in former Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike Sherman's pro-style offense, Fuller is a proven commodity capable of taking over games.
Peterson is such a rare combination of size, agility and straight-line speed that there isn't a receiver in the college football who I believe can consistently get open against him. If Peterson doesn't bring his "A" game against Texas A&M, however, Fuller can make some big plays on him -- especially if junior quarterback Ryan Tannehill gets time in the pocket.
As T.O. might say, get your popcorn ready. Tonight's showdown between Peterson (who I believe to be the best player in college football) and Fuller (among my favorite sleeper candidates to sneak into the first round) should be among the elite individual matchups of the entire bowl season.
Should you want to scout these two (and the rest of the Cotton Bowl) "alongside" me, feel free to check out my posts on Twitter tonight.
Posted on: November 26, 2009 10:52 am
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy will certainly get most of the attention in tonight's in-state battle at College Station, but it his counterpart, Aggie redshirt junior Jerrod Johnson, who quietly is leading the conference in touchdown passes and has made the most strides as an NFL prospect this season.
Like McCoy, the 6-5, 243 pound Johnson is a do-everything talent for the Aggies, who can beat defenses with his arm, decision-making (only 5 INTs) and legs. The athletic Johnson has shown agility and good decision-making in the option and actually is tied for the team lead with 8 rushing touchdowns this season. Johnson was pushed into the starting role last season with the injury to now-Dallas Cowboy Stephen McGee. Johnson posted solid numbers last season (2,435 passing yards, 21 touchdowns/10 interceptions), but looked flustered when pressured and was prone to drive-killing mistakes. This season, however, he's proven much more adept at reading defenses. The improvement Johnson has shown in his second season as a starter under former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman has been impressive, something that Sherman noted in his press conference this week.
"I really don't know if I've been around a player that's made the progress that he's made," Sherman said. "He's a lot more football savvy than I ever gave him credit for last year."
The undefeated Longhorns boast a significant edge in overall talent and should win this game easily. However, the Aggies have proven to be quite the nemesis for Mack Brown, winning two of the past three games, including the last one at Texas A&M. The Aggies, 6-5 overall, are 5-1 at home and enjoy one of the great homefield advantages in all of college football.
I certainly recommend you focusing on the traditions on this Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends, turkey and perhaps some NFL football, but don't forget to check out this contest (7 pm EST, ESPN), it could prove surprisingly competitive and certainly will provide scouts with a barometer as to the play of two talented quarterbacks while on the big stage.