Reese Fulton could very easily be one of the most versatile athletes on the Carroll Academy campus.
Fulton was an all-state pick in basketball last year and was a two-way starter in football for the Rebels last year, starting at tight end and outside linebacker, making him the latest addition to The Winona Times Top 11 Players to Watch for the upcoming football season.
Already announced as part of the elite group are An’Darius Coffey, Blake Cooper, Anthony Richardson, and Dorian Curry of Winona High School; Cory Clay and Deriaun Townsend of J.Z. George; Thomas Costilow and Hayden Self of Winona Christian School; and Morgan Mims of Carroll Academy.
Fulton moved to tight end last year after playing tackle as a sophomore. On defense, he can play outside linebacker or be a walk-down defensive end. Last year, he emerged late in the year as a bonafide pass catching threat for quarterback Morgan Mims.
“He was one of Morgan’s favorite targets,” Carroll Coach Bo Milton said. “He had some big touchdowns for us in crucial moments. He had a big touchdown versus Newton and a big TD versus Central Holmes. He made a lot of big catches for us last year and was somebody we would look for when we needed a big play. He’s a big target and blocks really well. But better yet, he is a good kid, a hard worker and one of our team leaders.”
In his first year at tight end, Milton said Fulton just got better as the season went on.
“I thought he got better and better as the season went on,” Milton said. “He had three or four catches in the playoff game and just showed a good progression throughout the season. He doesn’t come off the field and might have gotten worn down as the season went on. But I thought I got everything that he had and that’s all you can ask. Like Morgan, I expect bigger and better things out of him this year. The expectations are very high for him. He has been out here with us since he was in the eighth grade.”
On defense, Fulton was a solid defender at outside linebacker in Milton 3-stack defense.
“He can do a lot for us on defense,” Milton said. “He’s a long defender and plays a good stack linebacker. He can walk down and take on a blocker with the best of them. I think it’s a toss-up at which side he’s better one. He’s a good weapon on offense because I think the basketball helps him when it comes to going up and getting balls.”
Milton said he has also seen a little more maturity and dedication out of Fulton this off season.
“He has made some big jumps in the weight room,” Milton said. “That’s why my expectations are so high for him. He has gotten so much stronger and bigger. He doesn’t get to lift a lot of times during basketball but sometimes it clicks for a senior and they really put the effort into the weight rom. You could see that difference in him this year. I think he has aspirations to go play somewhere and knows he needs to work hard in the weight room.”
On the basketball court, Fulton was a double-double machine for the Rebels last year and Coach Tommy Acy doesn’t see that changing for the All-MAIS player this year.
“He is probably going to end up being one of the best big men in the MAIS this year,” Acy said. “As far as one on one, I would put him up against anybody. That’s what a lot of other coaches are saying. Once he gets the ball on the inside, he’s hard to stop.”
Fulton, who stands a 6-foot-4, is drawing some college interest in basketball, despite being smallish for a college “big man.”
“He has talked to a few coaches,” Acy said. “That’s one of the reasons I took him to Delta State was to let their coaches see him. As long as he can stay healthy, he should get a lot more interest throughout the season. That’s why when you have a kid playing multiple sports, you just pray for the best as far as their health. If we can stay injury free, we will be where we need to be come basketball season, that’s for sure.”
While Fulton is a standout on the basketball courts, his large frame and length make him desirable on the football fields as well.
“I think he could play college in either one,” Milton said. “I think it just comes down to where he wants to go and what he wants to do at the next level. I think he would be an asset for any sport he wants to play at the next level. I think he could easily put on 40-50 pounds and be an offensive tackle at the next level. He has already put on 25 pounds from last year and I don’t think he has stopped growing. He is heavier in his legs and has gotten a lot stronger there. He has man an effort to be stronger in his lower body and that will help him in whatever sport he plays.”
Off the field and in the classroom, Fulton has plenty to keep straight with his mother working at the school as the book keeper and girls basketball coach.
But Milton said Fulton doesn’t let that stop him from having a good time.
“He is funny to be around,” Milton said. “He never stops talking. He is very fun to be around in the classroom. You never know what you are going to get out of him. He has a great sense of humor that comes out a lot. He is a fun kid to be around.
“And he is one of our vocal kind of leaders. Everybody knows what you are going to get from him. He’s one of those kids you like to have on your football team.”