Vanderbilt special teams coordinator explains tryout process that led to Sarah Fuller kicking, how she's improved
The story of how Sarah Fuller became Vanderbilt’s kicker on Saturday at Missouri took several days to develop.
Her new special teams coordinator, Devin Fitzsimmons, shared how complicated it was for Fuller and the team in general with Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.
“This wasn’t a PR stunt. It was literally like, ‘OK, what gives us the best chance to win?’ We did try out some other guys on the team that allegedly played soccer, like, when they were six. It was brutal,” Fitzsimmons said.
He added that the ability she had better than other available options was she could kick a field goal, which he said requires the right footwork, angle, speed and timing to execute.
“To see her improve from Day 1 to Day 2, then Day 2 to Day 3 and game day, it was crazy,” he said.
Fitzsimmons said he doesn’t think Fuller has gotten enough credit for how far she’s come and how hard she’s worked in such a short period of time in a totally different sport.
For her contributions for Vanderbilt, Fuller was named Co-Special Teams Player of the Week by the SEC on Monday. The league noted how she became the first woman ever to officially take the field during a football game in a and major conference football game.
She took the opening kickoff of the second half against the Tigers, and kicked it 30 yards to have it downed at the Missouri 35-yard line.
She joined the likes of New Mexico’s Katie Hnida and Kent State’s April Goss as the only females to appear in a Football Bowl Subdivision contest.