For one night, Fulton, Chase return to their Rummel roots
METAIRIE – Last spring, Kristian Fulton went through the NFL Draft process, eventually landing in Nashville as a second-round choice of the Tennessee Titans.
This spring, Ja’Marr Chase is going through the NFL Draft process, with the potential of being the first non-quarterback selected later this month.
The former teammates at both Archbishop Rummel and LSU returned to their high school alma mater Wednesday night to speak to the football program’s Fourth Quarter Club.
“It feels great to be back,” Fulton said.
“This place means a lot to me,” Chase said. “I just want to say thank you to Rummel for giving me the opportunity to be here.”
Besides their career paths, Fulton and Chase will be joined at the hip for a variety of reasons – teammates on LSU’s 15-0 national champions in 2019, starters on opposite sides of the ball, each wearing jersey No. 1.
Both saw much less action in 2020, though – Fulton because of an injury that sidelined him for 10 games, Chase because of his preseason decision to opt out because of COVID-19.
“It was a big decision on my part,” Chase said. “I just didn’t want to risk anything.”
As for 2021, Fulton appears poised to move into a starting role in Tennessee in his second season after the team has moved on from starting cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson.
“It’s on me to have myself ready,” Fulton said. “I was just getting into my comfort zone when the injury happened.”
Chase won’t know his destination for another three weeks – the first round of the NFL Draft is April 29 – but he’s likely to make a quick impact wherever he lands.
“I don’t really know where I’m going,” he said. “I’m just sitting back waiting patiently.”
A week ago at LSU’s Pro Day, Chase solidified his high first-round status by running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Chase said it was only the second time in his life he has run a 40.
“I want to dominate everything I do,” Chase said. “If I’m doing something, I want to give it my all.”
Chase said he will attend the NFL Draft in Cleveland with his family. In the meantime, he has been in contact extensively with his former Tiger teammate, Justin Jefferson, about getting ready for what’s about to happen.
“I talk to him a lot,” Chase said, “whether it’s texting or FaceTime.”
What kind of advice can Fulton, one year removed from the draft process and NFL indoctrination, give to Chase?
“He should have no pressure on him,” Fulton said. “We all know his game speaks for itself. I’m just going to stay on him to not worry about the pressure.”
The NFL moves to a 17-game schedule in 2021, and the game added to the Titans’ schedule is a home game against Fulton’s hometown team, the Saints.
“Unfortunately, it’s going to be in Nashville, but I’m definitely excited to play the Saints,” Fulton said.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…