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MJ Fuller, Not Your Normal Outdoorsman

By Barry Every
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The 5-foot-10, 205-pound junior carried the ball 121 times for 730 yards and six touchdowns, while also returning two kicks for scores, last season.

In his first year at the helm of Jesup (Ga.) Wayne County Football, Head Coach Ken Cribb led his new squad to a (10-2) mark. The previous two seasons the Yellow Jackets finished with back-to-back (3-8) marks.

The turnaround shouldn’t have come as a surprise considering what he did at Bluffton (S.C.).  In his first two seasons he led the Bobcats to a (26-3) record and an appearance in the Title Game.  The school had managed just 17 wins in its first six years of existence prior to Cribb’s arrival.

One of the key offensive performers this past season that played a pivotal role in the Yellow Jackets’ turnaround was running back MJ Fuller. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound junior carried the ball 121 times for 730 yards and six touchdowns, while also returning two kicks for scores. His efforts did not go unnoticed earning Region 2-AAAAA First Team honors and being named Wayne County Offensive Back MVP.

Fuller was made to bear the offensive load as a sophomore carrying the rock 260 times for 1,239 yards and 11 scores. At that pace the young man would have no legs left for football after high school.

“He’s a hidden jewel in South Georgia and a very modest kid,” Cribb said. “He’ll be one of the strongest and fastest running backs in the whole state next year, and I don’t consider that an opinion. He is crazy strong, which is amazing considering the small weight room he has been working out in. But soon we’ll have a brand new 16,000 square foot facility.”

Fuller is a straight up beast in the weight room at this time despite the smaller venue with a max bench press of 335-pounds. He has also reached 485-pounds in the squat and 275-pounds in the power clean.

“My game isn’t complete, but I’m the guy that can get that extra yard or two to move the chains or score down near the goal line,” Fuller said. “I still want to continue to improve my footwork and build up my breakaway speed.”

Fuller claims a 2.8 GPA, but has yet to take a test. According to Coach Cribb, all junior Wayne County football players are scheduled to take the SAT in February and the ACT in March. The results will go a long way towards attracting college recruiter’s attention.

On the recruiting front things have been on the backburner to date. Fuller did not attend any college camps last spring, nor did he take in any junior days this fall.

“One reason things have been going slow is MJ’s passion as an outdoorsman,” Cribb said. “He is not your average person he simply loves to hunt when the season comes around, which is during the football season. Also this past season we played four games without our starting quarterback so his numbers are misleading. You just have to look at his performance versus Valdosta (Ga.) to see his ability to pull away from defenders.”

One school that Fuller claims to be showing him some attention is Kentucky. But he admits he’d love to hear from any FBS school, especially the home-state Bulldogs.

Fuller is not only a standout on the gridiron, but takes part in track where he runs the 100-meters and the 4x100-meters. He has plans to do the same this coming spring.

Finishing (10-2) and reaching the second round of the GHSA-AAAAA Playoffs may be considered a great accomplishment, but Fuller is focused on winning it all next year.

“We constantly workout on our own and attend team meetings, but more is needed to reach our goal of repeating as Region Champions and going deeper into the playoffs,” Fuller said. “We have to be smart, listen to our coaches and don’t get an attitude. It’s simply got to be Team – First.”

For those who have never seen this every-down back in person, they will certainly come away impressed with body structure. Fuller has the legs of Adonis with calves the size of softballs. But it’s his ability to separate from defenders in the open field that separates him from his peers. And, yes he has one mean stiff arm as I personally witnessed versus Brunswick (Ga.) Glynn Academy earlier this year.

Don’t expect things to stay quiet much longer in Jesup, Georgia. The cat is already out of the bag, as Coach Cribb and his fighting Yellow Jackets are primed for another big season in 2018. No one is expected more of than MJ Fuller, when not donned in camo he’ll be found racing the distance on the gridiron.