January 23, 2011

What's pulse of Fulse after UT visit

Tennessee's coaches had done a good enough job in their recruitment of Brandon Fulse that the four-star tight end with offers from coast to coast already felt like he had a good feel for the Volunteers football program.

After his official visit to Tennessee this weekend, Fulse found those things reaffirmed --- and the Vols' stakes in his recruitment as high as ever.

"It went great," Fulse emphasized. "Basically I focused on academics. They kind of followed up for me what I had been told. I kind of already knew everything but wanted to focus on the academics."

Gaining a deeper look into UT's academics and support systems was key to Fulse, who has plans of being either a business or communications major and says he's intent on securing his degree in college.

"Yes," Fulse said of appreciating the attention to the academic side of college. "It's life after football. I want to graduate and have my degree. The NFL is not a given and doesn't last forever. The main thing I'm doing is going to school to get my degree. I want to major in business or communications."

In terms of communicating with coaches and players on this trip, Fulse gave the experience favorable reviews. He logged extensive time with head coach Derek Dooley, as well as quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw, his recruiter, and tight ends/special teams coach Eric Russell.

"We had a great time at coach Dooley's house. I spent a lot of time with coach Dooley, coach Hinshaw and coach Russell," said the 6-foot-4, 247-pounder with 4.8 speed in the 40 and nearly 30 offers. "We were talking football, life and everything.

"It helps me out a lot because I've got to be around those coaches for next four or five years. It's great just being around them and getting a feel for what they're like."

The Fort Meade, Fla., standout already has a feel for what the Vols' offense under coordinator Jim Chaney is like. Fulse said he a ran a similar system in high school and that UT's coaches told him he would be a natural in their offense.

"They said I would fit in perfectly," Fulse said. "What I ran in high school is kind of similar to them. Basically, I know the plays and their schemes and I would fit in very good."

Fulse said his host, rising sophomore defensive end Jacques Smith, simply told him UT is "a great place and he hopes that I would come."

As for how Fulse now rates the Vols and his recruiting process?

"I'm about done with my recruiting. It put Tennessee up there high," he said. "I really like Tennessee.

"I'll probably announce before (signing day). I had one (visit) either to Alabama or Miami (next weekend), I don't know yet."

Rated a four-star prospect, the No. 10 tight end in the nation and the 162nd player nationally by Rivals.com, Fulse said he is maintaining an open mind down the stretch of recruiting.

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