When the fastest of the fast line up for the 40-yard dash at the annual NFL Scouting Combine, some are motivated by a desire to break the 4.4-second barrier, some seek a personal best and a select few chase the all-time mark.
Kyle Fuller just wanted to beat his brother.
Fuller, a cornerback from Virginia Tech, momentarily held family bragging rights, logging an unofficial 4.40 time to best the 4.43 recorded by Corey Fuller a year ago. That was before his time became official – 4.49.
But while the combine to some extent is about numbers, its primary purpose is to give prospects an opportunity to improve their draft stock. And on that front, Kyle Fuller looks to be the frontrunner in his family.
"I would love that," Fuller said when asked at the combine about the prospect of being a first-round pick. "That's one of my goals. All I can do is show what I can do and that I can believe that I'm a first round pick or whatever, but I'm not focused on that. I just have to do what I have to do, and whatever team takes me I'll be happy."
Regardless of where Kyle Fuller ends up being selected, he's poised to continue the family tradition.
"I believe it just shows all the hard work all of my brothers have had to get to this point, and we're just thankful and blessed for that," Fuller said. "It means a lot. It definitely makes you want to get to that level, and it definitely keeps you humble to continue to work hard to get there."
Fuller and his two brothers that already have NFL experience all played at Virginia Tech. Same goes for youngest brother Kendall, who was a freshman for the Hokies this past season. Kendall earned Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after intercepting six passes.
"I had the best time of my life as a senior playing with Kendall," Fuller said. "It was sad that it got cut short."
The brothers' teamwork in the defensive backfield came to a close when Kyle Fuller suffered a sports hernia midway through last season. He had surgery and held out hope of returning for the Hokies' bowl game but could not. Soon after, he had to pull out of the Senior Bowl to allow the injury more time to heal.
That doesn't sound like a great recipe for success entering the draft, but Fuller has turned the corner since. He left lasting impressions with his performances at the combine and Virginia Tech's pro day, and his college career speaks for itself.
Fuller didn't post overwhelming numbers for the Hokies but was a rock for the defense. He's equally adept against the pass – he led the ACC with 10 pass breakups at the time of his injury – and against the run, having posted 14.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore. He's versatile and physical. He's got good size (6 foot, 190 pounds), good speed and good smarts.
Plus, he's got a heck of an intangible going for him in the form of his brothers, who helped push him to this point and who can now point him in the right direction.
"I'm very competitive, especially with my brothers. We've always wanted to be better than each other," Fuller said. "That's helped me get to where I am now."