Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller had a short but historic college career with the Commodores football team. The senior played in a total of two games, and in that time became the first female to play in a Power 5 game and the first female to score in a Power 5 game. After her first game, Fuller was named SEC special teams player of the week and one of Sports Illustrated 2020 Sportspersons of the Year.
Fuller wrote Monday on Twitter:
It looks like my time as a football player has come to an end. I would like to personally thank the entire Vanderbilt football team, coaches, and support staff for this amazing opportunity to be part of this program. I was accepted as an athlete and a true member of this team. This is an experience that I will never forget and cherish forever. Good luck to the seniors and staff who are moving on to new adventures. My best wishes to the team as this program moves forward and continues to grow.
Anchor Down! 🏈
And catch Vandy soccer game next season ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/OzlMkLs8Um
— Sarah Fuller (@SarahFuller_27) December 15, 2020
Fuller might have had a third game, but because of Coronavirus positive player tests and contact tracing reducing the team roster, Vandy’s December 6 game against the Georgia Bulldogs has been canceled. She will, however, be back to help the Vanderbilt soccer team in an NCAA tournament that was moved to the spring.
Fuller created a buzz amongst critics and rumors of a Vanderbilt University publicity stunt after she revealed to reporters after her first-ever game that she had delivered a halftime locker-room speech to the team. “I had coaches come up to me and say ‘I’ve been wanting to say that for a while now,’” Fuller reportedly said of her own locker-room speech. Media reports later questioned how it was that a first-time football player was chosen to deliver such an awe-inspiring speech to her new team, and also before her first-ever play in a game.
“Keep in mind, Fuller hadn’t yet stepped foot on the field for her kickoff before giving this speech,” Joe Kinsey from Outkick wrote.
Kinsey also said:
If you were on the fence about whether Vanderbilt using soccer goalie Sarah Fuller as a fill-in kicker for Saturday’s game against Missouri was a publicity stunt or a necessity, you got your answer on Sunday when it was announced that Fuller had given a halftime speech to her new teammates.
As for this speech, you mean to tell me that a kicker who was pulled off the women’s soccer team and who started practicing with the football team on Tuesday was given the floor to lecture teammates on Saturday?
Other critics questioned Vanderbilt’s intentions after the locker-room speech story broke as well, but in a recent interview, Fuller took her critics in stride. “At this point, like, what are you doing? You know? I am a [Division 1] soccer player. I’m going to Vanderbilt University. I’m getting my degree from here. I’ve done amazing things,” she said.