Fuller molding confident players as Godby’s coach
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Last summer when Corey Fuller spontaneously decided to motivate his football players, he took them to the house where he grew up on Tallahassee’s south side.
He wanted to make a point about his rise from a tough neighborhood to the NFL. A video of the conversation between Fuller and his players in down pouring rain went viral on social media.
He was coaching at East Gadsden then. Now in his first season as head coach at Godby High School, Fuller is still using everything he can to motivate.
“He is the perfect kind of coach that Godby needs,” said senior linebacker Martery Brown. “We fell off for the last two years and that’s the kind of coach it takes to change the program. I see the change; motivation, confidence and togetherness.”
Fuller said he doesn’t know any other way to get the best out of his players. He’s a perfect example, Fuller said, pointing to how Mike Hickman, his mentor at Rickards and later Mickey Andrews at FSU, made a difference in his life.
“It became part of my DNA,” he said.
He sees himself in some of his players, said Fuller, who went on to play nine seasons in the NFL
“A lot of our kids come from a home situation where they don’t have a big belief in themselves and what they can accomplish,” he said. “When you can be motivated by somebody telling you that you can make it and you start to believe that, it’s a dangerous thing (on the field).”
Getting between the ears of his players is most of what Fuller said he does more than anything else as a coach. He focuses on his players’ classroom attendance, making sure they come to practice and get back home each day, he said.
Of course, he is a big part of the game planning too. He players seemingly have bought into the concept.
“It’s great,” Brown said. “We all know that coach has been there and done that. Whatever he tells us is going to be the right thing so when we go out there we get the job done.”
The Cougars played their first game a week ago and scored a 43-13 dismantling of Nature Coast, beating a team that hadn’t lost previously in 22 straight games. But Fuller cautioned that too much shouldn’t be read into the victory.
They opened the season in earnest this past Friday night against Chiles High School. Injuries notwithstanding, they will go through the season with senior Rasean McKay as quarterback.
Going into the Chiles game, McKay made just five starts under center. But the converted baseball player is up to the challenge of trying to lead the Cougars back to their glory days.
“The challenge was hard,” he said. “I just had to step up. It’s not easy. I have to watch film and come out here and read coverages that the defense gives me.
“I pick up a football every day, throwing it. I try to throw different ways; just always throwing it like a baseball. I’m out here practicing every day with my receivers.”