Tucked away between the Tennessee Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains rests a university in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, which many regard as D.B.U. (Defensive Back University); Virginia Tech.
Year after year, this university in the commonwealth's region harboring old-Virginia, has produced talented defensive-backs that become great starters and contributors at the next level.
One of the big reasons for this is their coach, Frank Beamer.
Beamer has been the head coach at Virginia Tech since 1986, and is the most winningest active coach in college football. He took over a program that had only reached six bowl games prior to his arrival. Since then, Beamer’s teams have won 7 conference titles, to go along with 21 consecutive bowl appearances.
He has also had great success at developing talented players, and readying them for the NFL.
Virginia Tech is regarded as D.B.U. because of all the talented defensive secondary players currently in the NFL. One of them, Kam Chancellor, just won the Super-Bowl, while another, Brandon Flowers, has been pestering our offense now for several years.
DeAngelo Hall has always been a solid corner, while Jayron Hosley for the Giants looks to be developing into a decent starter.
And now, it's Kyle Fuller's time.
Besides all attending Virginia Tech, what else do all these defensive players mentioned above have in common? All of them have had not only Frank Beamer coaching them, but also Bud Foster, their defensive coordinator.
Foster, a former linebacker and safety at Murray State, loves to call blitz's, which often times forces the secondary into more man-to-man situations, expecting the receivers to be shut down, and usually, his secondary responds to the challenge.
Under Foster, VT has had a top 10 overall defense and a top 10 passing defense six times since 2004. Not only that, but they have also been a top 10 scoring defense six times within that span as well!
All of this great coaching leads to great college players, which leads to great NFL prospects.
Even though the University of Miami could stake a claim for the title of DBU with players such as Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Antrell Rolle and Brandon Merriweather; or even Alabama, with Dre Kirkpatrick or Mark Barron currently in the league.
However, all of those names were household names come draft time.
Brandon Flowers was a 2nd round pick (5 cornerbacks were drafted ahead of Flowers, including Antoine Cason).
Kam Chancellor was 5th round pick (9 safeties went ahead of Chancellor, including Darrell Stuckey).
Virginia Tech’s claim for Defensive Back University makes a strong statement. Now, Kyle Fuller looks to make an even stronger statement for D.B.U.
Not only does he have the size, but also the tools to succeed at the next level. Our very own writer, Kyle Posey, has done a great job of breaking down Fuller’s film and highlighting his attributes.
So it’s no secret that many here at BFTB like Fuller and many fans have their eyes set on him in hopes that the Chargers pull the trigger on him early in the draft. He should be there when the Chargers draft at 25, but will they want to risk waiting until the second round?
And with a glaring need at CB entering the 2014 season for the Chargers, why not draft someone from a school that has been successfully producing talented defensive secondary players?
Virginia Tech has had 87 players drafted into the NFL since Beamer’s arrival, and nearly a third of them are defensive backs. Since 1997, at least one player from VT’s secondary has been selected in the draft every year except once.
"We’re DBU," DeAngelo Hall told the Washington Post in 2010. "We're not always gonna be top 10 picks or top-ranked guys. But at the end of the day, when we get in the National Football League, we make plays."
In four season with the Hookies, Fuller has missed a total of 11 games, even though he played through groin and shoulder injuries in 2012, and did not miss a game that year. Six of the games he missed were because of a sports hernia suffered in his final season.
Last year, Fuller had 24 total tackles and 2 interceptions in seven games.