Despite his team beginning 0-2, Chicago Urban Prep defensive tackle Mason Fuller is optimistic for the rest of his team's season and hopes to turn things around.
"I'm kind of upset because I put in a lot of hard work to get ready but as a team we aren't doing too well. I have a belief in the team though that we can come back strong this week and go on from there. I've been doing workouts with my teammates that I've been put through at schools I've visited."
Fuller's hard work is still paying off though as he is preparing himself individually for a future college career as well.
"By the end of my season I'll be ready. I'm as big as a lot of college linemen and can put up a lot of the same numbers they can. My squat came up 15 to 20 pounds and bench went up 5 to 10 pounds. Bench max is about 355. My squat is up in the 400 range near 425. Last time I ran my 40 I ran a 5.0 or 5.1."
Football isn't Fuller's only goal for the next four years. He also has put a lot of thought into his education and has a pretty well thought-out plan for what he would like to accomplish in the classroom.
"I want to major in engineering or business because I want to be my own boss, run something like a family business."
The fact still remains that Fuller is a dominant player on the field, and because of that, a number of college coaches have come calling for his services.
"I've been talking to a few more people. Arizona, Western Kentucky, Nebraska, and U of I. I've talked to Michigan more, Minnesota more. I got a couple letters from South Carolina and Georgia."
Of those, Fuller has offers from Illinois and Kansas, but that doesn't necessarily reflect his plans for official visits.
"I know I'm going to take a visit to Nebraska. I may go visit U of I but I don't think I'll go visit Kansas."
Fuller has made it to the Illinois campus before, however, and he felt at home during the visit.
"I just liked the players and the atmosphere when I visited. Yes sir, I could see myself playing there. I'd bring speed and domination. My strength is an advantage I use. I'll need to bring more technique."
Fuller also occasionally talks to fellow players from the Chicago area as well as his primary recruiting coach about the potential to play at Illinois.
"I talk to James (Adeyanju) and Chris Bryant a little bit. I talk to Coach (DeAndre) Smith a lot too."
Rumors have been swirling that Fuller might be close to a decision. But according to him, he is being patient and enjoying the process.
"I believe I'm going to wait until February. I know a lot of schools like to jump on board at the last minute. I want to see if Alabama or Florida will jump on board too."
But for now, Fuller has a few more games left in his senior season, and he has set some standards for himself for the rest of the year.
"I want to step up my tackling, get a few sacks, and be more of a team leader and more dominant on the field."