Better Know a Buckeye: Jordan Fuller

By Vico on July 22, 2016 at 10:10 am
Jordan Fuller

Our "Better Know a Buckeye" series resumes from a week hiatus with its 23rd installment. We profile Jordan Fuller, an athlete from Westwood, New Jersey.

Jordan Fuller

  • Size: 6-1.5/196
  • Position: ATH
  • Hometown (School): Westwood, NJ (Old Tappan)
  • 247 Composite: ★★★★
  • National Ranking: 131
  • Position Ranking: 6 (ATH)
  • State Ranking: 4 (NJ)
  • U.S. Army All-American

Fuller is one of the crown jewels of Ohio State's 2016 recruiting class and a major coup late into the recruiting process. A talented athlete and younger brother of a similar player, Devin Fuller, who had a fantastic career at UCLA, Jordan Fuller was a hot commodity on the recruiting trail after his sophomore year. He received interest all across the country before focusing his recruitment on the Midwest powers, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. He selected Ohio State on February 1, 2016.

I retell his recruitment below and discuss the reasons for his commitment. Thereafter, I provide a scouting report for a dynamic athlete that Ohio State coaches think will factor into the defensive back rotation in the future. I close with a projection that we should see Fuller on the field as a true freshman. I also provide highlight film to watch at the end of the feature.


Jordan Fuller was never going to want for publicity when his recruitment began in 2014. Analysts and coaches know New Jersey has a good pool of college football talent that routinely travel to programs across the country. Further, his older brother is current Atlanta Falcon Devin Fuller, a talented wide receiver pivotal to UCLA's turnaround under Jim L. Mora. He already had offers from Florida State, North Carolina, Penn State, and South Carolina before the end of his sophomore year of high school. That list includes the then-defending national champion Seminoles and Penn State, which had just hired recruiting ace James Franklin and always has huge pull among New Jersey prospects.

Fuller was in no rush, though. His brother was at UCLA while his father played college football at Texas Christian. Additional offers in the fall of 2014 from Alabama and Ohio State meant Fuller's recruitment was only getting started.

Three visits in the spring and summer of 2015 defined his recruitment to follow. The first was a trip to Michigan. The Wolverines were one of the first programs to express an interest in Fuller though the scholarship offer only came when Jim Harbaugh took over the program. Fuller finally made the trip to see Michigan in March. Analysts thought Michigan would be a major player through the duration his recruitment.

The next trip, this time to Ohio State in April, proved to be a pivotal moment as well. Ohio State had been in contact since the start of his junior year and Fuller was eager to visit Columbus. Fuller expressed a pleasant surprise by the tone of his visit. The assistants there to recruit him—Chris Ash, Kerry Coombs, and Mark Pantoni—talked more about life after football than football itself. Fuller thought Ohio State did everything the right way, on and off the field. He was eager to continue his recruitment with Ohio State.

The final visit was a summer camp at Notre Dame. It should be no surprise that a prospect like Fuller, already interested in programs far and wide from his New Jersey home, would want to see Notre Dame. The Irish have a good presence in New Jersey and a lot of alumni in New York. Fuller had already heard great things about the campus. He left Notre Dame at the end of July with glowing remarks about the coaching staff and the value of a Notre Dame education.

Fuller did little with his recruitment from there for the next few months. This was largely for concern of his senior season and not wanting to detract focus from it. He took just two visits, both to Rutgers, during the fall as the Scarlet Knights were at the margins of his recruitment. A couple coaches like Chris Ash from Ohio State and D.J. Durkin did visit him to signal their continued interest.

He started taking his official visits after his senior season ended. Notre Dame hosted his first official visit and made a great impression on him and his parents. He waited a month before his next official visit, this time to Ohio State. Here, Ohio State was fortunate to replace Chris Ash with Greg Schiano. Fuller did not know Schiano well from his time at Rutgers but his parents did for Devin Fuller's recruitment. The visit to Ohio State served to answer remaining questions about the program.

Michigan hosted him for his final official visit a week later. During that visit, Jim Harbaugh drove home that New Jersey was a major recruiting priority for him and hoped Fuller would become a marquee name to highlight those efforts.

Fuller felt he had seen everything with just over a week before signing day. He set an announcement for the beginning of February. He hosted Jim Harbaugh, Brian Kelly, and Urban Meyer all on January 27. However, recruiting analysts felt that Fuller had long made up his mind for Ohio State.


Jordan Fuller committed to Ohio State on February 1, 2016 as the 23rd member of its 2016 recruiting class. He selected Ohio State over Michigan and Notre Dame, among several others.

The commitment came with a YouTube video.

Fuller told why he selected Ohio State over the two other powerhouses in the Midwest.

“I chose Ohio State because I truly believe they push their players, for sure, but I also know they take care of them on and off the field... I know I will be developed. I will get stronger, I will get faster and I will improve my smarts for the game, and also I will be able to network with some very powerful people and set myself up for life after football. Really, it is the whole package.”

Fuller signed with Ohio State two days later.


Jordan Fuller is a versatile athlete who played quarterback for his high school team. His older brother made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver at UCLA. Most observers expect Fuller will transition to defensive back at the collegiate level. He could also be a wide receiver but his ceiling might be the highest in the secondary.

His size and athleticism are why analysts are fascinated with the prospect of him playing as a defensive back. He already has college-level size for a defensive back. However, he has room to grow and still maintain his top-end speed. He demonstrates great quick-twitch athleticism.

His length magnifies his size as a future defensive back. He has good top-end speed but can use his length to make up the difference with shorter, faster wide receivers. He can also smother wide receivers with his size and athleticism.


"Athletes" are jacks of multiple trades and masters of none. Fuller will need to iron out several things as he makes his transition to the secondary.

His technique is quite raw at the moment. His backpedal gets a little high and he does not always demonstrate the greatest awareness of where he is in the secondary. His quick reaction makes up for this, but it's clearly inefficient to play out of position.

I've read reports that think of him as a future cornerback at Ohio State and I'm not sure I see it. He would need to arguably improve his speed or loosen his hips on a swivel to play cornerback. This is important for evaluating Fuller's potential. Fuller could be an impossible cornerback if he could play at that level. He could also be a really good safety. The impact of the former would be bigger than the latter.

He will also want to improve his tackling technique as he undergoes the transition to defense full time.


I don't think Fuller will crack the two-deep in the secondary but I do think he's athletic enough to play on special teams a true freshman. I expect Fuller to see the field in 2016.


Here are senior-year highlights.


View 7 Comments