At what point does hope trend into fantasy? Praise into hyperbole? On the topic of rising sophomore Devin Fuller, Jim Mora ventured this week into that hazy, indeterminate zone.
“I think I’ve said this before and it’s not fair to either guy, but I think he’s in the mold of a Percy Harvin,” the UCLA head coach said. “A guy that can play running back if you need him to, can play slot, can go outside.”
Fuller still has a ways to go before he reaches the same tier as Harvin — an eventual Pro Bowler who had over 3,500 all-purpose yards in three years at Florida — but the suggestion isn’t outlandish, ceiling-wise. Since arriving at UCLA as a quarterback who then turned into a 145-yard receiver, he has proved himself to be one of the most impressive Bruins in spring camp (This becomes especially true if you’re looking for someone that’s not an established star.)
The New Jersey native said earlier this spring that he’ll always have a “quarterback mindset,” but is embracing his first full spring at receiver. It’s there that Fuller looks like a potential game-changer.
Rated as Rivals.com’s No. 37 overall recruit in 2012, the 5-foot-11 athlete has consistently opened up separation while showing off the ability to make tremendous grabs over his shoulder. The Bruins have also given him reps in a Wildcat-type package, though he has run more often than pass out of that formation.
“Last year, he just got open off of athletic ability,” receivers coach Eric Yarber said. “I’m getting to the point where he can get off on know-how now. Know how to run routes, know how to set defenders, how to reestablish his vertical stem. Know how to drop his weight and get in and out of cuts the proper way. He’s learning all those things right now.
Added offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone: “The kid’s a natural. To me, the sky’s the limit for Devin.”