You’ve seen the box scores. Now, it’s time to go deeper. With NFL.com’s Next Gen stats, fans can see the game in a whole new way. Zebra Technologies has outfitted every NFL player with a tracker that collects data like velocity, distance traveled and proximity to opposing players. Every week throughout the 2016 season, STACK will provide extra insights into the NFL’s most amazing Next Gen stats.
Will Fuller’s Speed is Making NFL Defenders Look Helpless
Several candidates have already emerged for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but Will Fuller’s name has to be near the top of the list.
Through four games, the Houston Texans rookie receiver already has 323 receiving yards and two touchdowns, putting him on pace for season totals of 1,292 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Fuller’s most spectacular play of the season came Sunday in the Texans’ 27-20 win over the Tennessee Titans. With time ticking down in the third quarter and the score deadlocked at 20-20, Fuller was called on to return a Tennessee punt. It was the first punt return of his NFL career, and this is what happened:
That’s what 4.32 speed looks like. Fuller hit an incredible foot speed of 21.62 mph on the play, faster than any other ballcarrier in the NFL during Week 4.
During training camp, STACK got a chance to watch Fuller train at the Texans’ facility. One of the big knocks on Fuller coming out of Notre Dame was his slight frame (he’s currently listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds), but he’s much stronger than he looks.
“Will’s a guy that’s stronger than his body weight precedes. He really is, he’s actually a very strong person. So right now, it’s about maintaining [his] body mass,” Texans head strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald told STACK. “But you don’t want to put a lot of metal on a Ferrari. You want to keep the Ferrari rolling fast. We don’t want to say, ‘hey, let’s bulk Will Fuller up.’ That’s not our job. Our job is to make sure Will can show his talents and gifts every time he steps on the field.”
Judging by his phenomenal start to the season, it looks like Fuller took the perfect approach to his off-season training.
RELATED: Inside Will Fuller’s Offseason Workout