North Carolina Tar Heels: William Fuller to Hall of Fame


William Fuller starred for the North Carolina Tar Heels in the eighties and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The North Carolina Tar Heels finished their season back in December with a loss to the Baylor Bears in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Their offensive coordinator took over at North Texas. Seniors will be departing the program after graduation, but a Tar Heel was honored for something in this early 2016.

Tar Heel alumnus William Fuller, a defensive tackle, was named to the college football Hall of Fame. Fuller played for the Dick Crum era Heels from 1981 to 1983, in the midst of some of the best teams that the Crum Tar Heels produced. Fuller then went on to a successful NFL career with the Oilers, Eagles, and Chargers.

In the Pros, Fuller was a four time Pro Bowler including a three stretch between 1994-6 with the Philadelphia Eagles where he was basically brought in to replace Reggie White. Fuller played end in the pros despite being a tackle in college. He had 100 career sacks.

Yet Fuller was not being recognized for any of that, he was being recognized for what he did in college. As a senior, Fuller had 81 tackles including twenty-two tackles for loss and five sacks. He was named All-America that season, his second time receiving that honor. The Tar Heels played in three bowl games during his three seasons.

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Fuller is the kind of player that the Tar Heels missed in their tilt versus Baylor. The grinding Baylor offensive line needed more effectiveness up front to slow it down. Without Nazir Jones, the lack of push was noticeable. The best Tar Heel teams have always been built on strong defenses, whether it was Fuller’s teams of the early eighties or the Mack Brown teams of the nineties. It will be interesting to see if recruiting can fix that hole.

As for Fuller, congratulations are in order. It seems odd to think that those things happened more than thirty years ago.

The next Tar Heels football game will be against Georgia in the Georgia Dome in September.