Calvin Fuller has never been on a plane.
In fact, he hates the idea flying and also loathes snakes. He'll endure both, though, because his path to major college football will take him to the Arizona desert.
Fuller, an all-region selection at Laney last fall, plans on leaving Aug. 3 to play football at Eastern Arizona College. He signed an athletic scholarship Wednesday, and he hopes to matriculate to South Carolina as soon as December.
"As long as he gets his opportunity and his chance, I'm happy for him," said his father, Willie Harley.
At the junior college 160 miles east of Phoenix, Fuller says he needs to improve his grades and perform well at defensive back, where the Gamecocks see his future. He said South Carolina coaches steered him to the school.
Fuller, a 2007 Dream 16 selection and two-time 1,000-yard rusher at South Aiken, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and battery last August, 10 days before the season started.
The charges will be expunged from his record once he goes through a Pre-Trial Intervention Program, which his father says Fuller will complete this month. PTI is a program of restitution, counseling and guidance that allows defendants to avoid trial.
School rules prevented him from playing at South Aiken, so he transferred to Laney and debuted Oct. 19. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Fuller played five games at quarterback, accounting for 552 total yards and two TDs.
Fuller, 19, called the past year "crazy and sad at the same time.
"There was a point where I never thought I'd play football again."
He didn't hesitate when someone asked where he would be in a couple of years.
"You'll see me at Carolina," he said.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.