A couple of decades, 104 NFL starts and two Pro Bowl selections ago, Kyle Fuller was just a kid who’d excitedly attend Ravens preseason games after youth football practice. A Baltimore native in a football-focused family, Fuller was a Ravens fan as he grew up and excelled at Mount Saint Joseph.
He went on to start four years at Virginia Tech and was a 2014 first-round pick in the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, where he was named a Pro Bowl selection in 2018 and 2019 before signing with the Denver Broncos ahead of the 2021 season.
In May, the 30-year old cornerback with 19 career interceptions signed a one-year deal with the Ravens.
“It feels good, just to be back home,” Fuller said after Wednesday’s training camp practice.
Fuller was just 7 years old when his eldest brother, Vincent Jr., excelled for Woodlawn before attending Virginia Tech and eventually playing seven seasons in the NFL, primarily with the Tennessee Titans. Fuller remembers watching his brother play at M&T Bank Stadium.
Fuller’s second-oldest brother, Corey, played in the NFL as a wide receiver and now works as a scout for the Carolina Panthers. His younger brother, Kendall, is a star cornerback for the Washington Commanders.
Each of the four Fuller brothers played football for Virginia Tech.
“Every one of them have been just a delight to have in the program,” former Hokies coach Frank Beamer said in 2013.
When the youngest Fuller made his pro debut in 2016, the family became the second ever to have four brothers play in the NFL. The first was the Browners (Ross, Jim, Joey and Keith).
Two of Fuller’s brothers, Kendall and Vincent, who’s now an attorney, live in Washington and Fuller said he hopes they’ll all get together soon. That family reunion might come Aug. 27 when Kendall visits M&T Bank Stadium as a member of the Commanders for a preseason game.
In 2018, Kyle Fuller led the NFL in interceptions and pass deflections, earning his first of successive Pro Bowl nods. But in 2021, he struggled at times with the Broncos and saw less playing time than he had in previous years.
“In your career, you’ll have years where it doesn’t really go — it’s not necessarily bad, you just learn from it,” Fuller said. “Sure, it probably wasn’t one of my best years, but that’s okay. Learn from that and move forward.”
When asked about Fuller’s training camp, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald highlighted his experience.
“He’s been in a lot of systems, some similar to ours, so he provides a lot of good feedback in that regard,” Macdonald said. “It’s great to bounce ideas off of him and make sure he sees things the same way, and sometimes he doesn’t, so sometimes we’ll tweak something because maybe there’s a better way to do it, so he provides that.”
Fuller saw more snaps last year as slot cornerback than he had in previous seasons and said he expects to be moved around this season.
To date, the four Fuller brothers have combined to play 301 career games, and Kyle leads the Baltimore family in what will now be his ninth NFL season.
“I’ve been through a lot, learned a lot, experienced a lot, and I feel like it’s helped me be the person I am, player I am,” he said, “and I just want to build on it and continue to get better, help out guys, and become the best player I can be, and person.”
Fuller has played at M&T Bank Stadium as a visiting player and he practiced there Saturday, but he’s never played a game in a Ravens uniform. That’s the moment he expects playing for the hometown team to sink in.
“I think that’s when it’ll actually hit me,” he said.