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Football

Will Fuller to head to NFL Draft

| Monday, January 4, 2016

Will Fuller will leave Notre Dame and submit his name for the upcoming NFL Draft, the junior receiver announced Sunday.

“My heart truly wanted to return to Notre Dame, but it has also been a lifelong dream to play football in the NFL. After taking all of this into lengthy consideration, I believe it is in my best interest to forgo my senior season and enter the 2016 draft,” Fuller said in a press release on Twitter.

Fuller also said he plans to return to Notre Dame to complete his degree, adding, “The University of Notre Dame is not just a learning institution. It has afforded me an incomparable life experience, and for this, I will forever be grateful. Playing with Team #127 is an experience I will always celebrate and I have made brothers for life.”

One of Notre Dame’s lowest-rated recruits in the high school class of 2017, Fuller broke out his sophomore season and continued that production this year. He led Irish receivers in 2015 with 62 catches for 1,258 yards and 14 of Notre Dame’s 25 receiving touchdowns. The All-American totaled triple-digit yardage totals in seven games this season, against Texas (142), Virginia (124), Georgia Tech (131), USC (131), Pittsburgh (152), Stanford (136) and Ohio State (113).

Known for his breakout speed, the Philadelphia native tallied nine touchdowns for 30 yards or more, along with the game-winning scores against Virginia and Temple.

Irish junior receiver Will Fuller jumps to catch the game-winning touchdown pass with 2:09 left in Notre Dame’s 24-20 win over Temple on Oct. 31.Zachary Llorens | The Observer

Irish junior receiver Will Fuller jumps to catch the game-winning touchdown pass with 2:09 left in Notre Dame’s 24-20 win over Temple on Oct. 31.

Fuller originally told reporters Nov. 11 he was returning to Notre Dame for his senior season, but after receiving feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board, he said he was “keeping his avenues open” following the team’s awards banquet Dec. 11 before officially declaring his intent to head to the draft Sunday.

With Fuller’s announcement, three of the five players for whom Notre Dame requested feedback from the advisory board have declared for the draft, along with offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley and running back C.J. Prosise. The other two, linebacker Jaylon Smith and cornerback KeiVarae Russell, have yet to announce their plans, though Russell would need NCAA approval to return in 2016.

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