COLUMBUS — Jordan Fuller has always carried a heavy load in the Ohio State secondary.
But the last line of defense for the Buckeyes was obviously tested far more than anybody ever should be a year ago for the worst statistical unit in school history. And even as talented, athletic and savvy as the senior might be, there just was no way for him to consistently erase everything that was coming his way on such a frequent basis.
Now, though? Fuller is getting to wipe out opponents in a much different fashion. And while he still has to make the touchdown-saving tackle occasionally for the Buckeyes, at the midway point of his final campaign with the program he’s showing off his big-play potential by stopping drives cold with turnovers.
“I think [overall improvement] is just a tribute to our hard work and just believing in each other, staying with each other,” Fuller said. “That’s really what it is, and I think it’s the brotherhood and we can see how strong it is. Last year, it was kind of tough. But we just said: Let’s forget it and try to move on.
“Together, that’s what we’re doing.”
Captains rarely want the individual spotlight, so it’s not a surprise when Fuller spreads around the credit for the remarkable turnaround of the Ohio State defense. And it’s also true that he’s not out there doing it alone for the Buckeyes.
But Fuller has been one of the most productive members of the Silver Bullets heading into the second half of the season, leading Ohio State in tackles and coming off two impressive performances in key Big Ten matchups that both included interceptions that helped seal victories. If not for a bogus penalty on his return last week against the Spartans, Fuller would also have a touchdown to show for his work as he keeps enhancing his stock for the NFL Draft next spring.
What has helped Jordan Fuller take his game to the next level? How important has his steady work at safety been during the rise of the Ohio State defense? Is there more Fuller can still give to the Buckeyes down the stretch? Former Ohio State safety and national champion Tyvis Powell was in the Lettermen Row film lab for the first time breaking it all down in the latest episode of BuckIQ.
Roll the tape!