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Signing Day History: Kendall Fuller has fond memories of the day he forged his own path

Signing Day History: Kendall Fuller has fond memories of the day he forged his own path

With National Signing Day less than two weeks away, we're looking back at the high school careers of some of the region's top players in recent history.

When it comes to listing the greats who started their career in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, we'd be remiss if we overlooked current Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller. Before landing in Kansas City (and being selected by the Redskins in the 2016 NFL draft), Fuller was a five-star defensive stud at Our Lady of Good Counsel. At his Signing Day ceremony, he was joined by seven of his teammates who also announced their college decision.

Fuller chose Virginia Tech over Clemson, perhaps wanting to complete the family tree and become the fourth and final Fuller brother to be a Hokie. 

"Being able to sign with my teammates, who I consider brothers, and to go to the game school as my actual brothers is a dream come true,” Fuller told The Washington Post in February of 2013. 

The blueprint was in place. Vincent, Corey, and Kyle had all come before their youngest brother. In fact, Kyle was lucky enough to spend his senior season with Kendall in Blacksburg, Va. 

“He’s not following in our footsteps; he’s creating his own path as a great player and young man,” Vincent Fuller, who attended his brother's Signing Day ceremony told the Post. “We’ll always have those memories and those brotherly rivalries brought out the best in all four of us.”

Frank Beamer and the Hokies paid attention to the young talent for good reason. The two-way player popped off during his senior season. Defensively, Fuller logged three interceptions, 28 tackles, eight pass breakups, and a sack. He wasn't done there. On the other side of the ball, he caught 44 passes for 695 yards and seven touchdowns to take home All-Met Player of the Year honors. 


5 things to know about Katie Ledecky before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

5 things to know about Katie Ledecky before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Katie Ledecky established herself as the new face of USA Swimming at 18 years old. 

Now she's back following a successful college career at Stanford and is poised to dominate another Olympic games this summer in Tokyo, Japan. 

In preparation for the games, here are five things you'll want to know about the Washington, D.C. native before she starts lapping her competitors in the pool. 

The youngest US Olympian at the 2012 games

While she dominated in 2016, Ledecky first broke out in 2012 at the London Games. She qualified as a 15-year-old and was the youngest American participant in London that year. 

As if making it to the Olympics at 15 wasn't impressive enough, Ledecky shocked the world when she won the 800m freestyle by more than four seconds and broke Janet Evans' American record set in 1989. 

The performance earned herself the 2012 Best Female Performance of the Year and Breakout Performance of the Year at the Golden Goggle Awards. 

DMV roots

Ledecky was born in Washington, D.C. in March of 1997 and attended school in Bethesda, MD. She graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 2015 and twice set the American and US Open record in the 500-yard freestyle and set the national high school record in the 200-yard freestyle twice as well. 

Oh, and she grew up a huge Capitals fan.

Ledecky has a "slam" named after her

From 2014 to 2015, Ledecky established herself as the best women's swimmer in the world. In back-to-back years, she swept the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships in 2014 and the 2015 World Championships. 

Sweeping all four events is now called the "Ledecky Slam." Ledecky wasn't able to complete her slam in the 2016 games, but that's only because the 1500m freestyle wasn't on the docket.

The Tokyo games have added the event, so Ledecky can officially go for her patented slam on the biggest stage. 

2016 dominance

When the 2016 Olympics rolled around, Ledecky was poised to take home multiple gold medals. 

She swept every individual competition she was in, claiming gold in the 200, 400 and 800m freestyle. She also set world records in the 400 and 800m. 

In the team events, Ledecky came away with a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay and a silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay despite setting a new American record. 

Events Ledecky will compete in this summer

As we've stated before, the 1500m meter freestyle is a new addition at this year's Olympic games, and Ledecky plans to swim in it. She'll also compete in the three other freestyle events included in the Ledecky Slam. 

She will also compete in the freestyle relays for the U.S.

Women's swimming events will begin on July 25 in Tokyo and will run through August 5. 


5 things to know about Olympic wrestler Kyle Snyder ahead of Tokyo 2020

5 things to know about Olympic wrestler Kyle Snyder ahead of Tokyo 2020

You can't describe United States Olympic wrestling without bringing up the name Kyle Snyder.

The 24-year-old is already a legend in the sport. He captured his first Olympic gold medal in 2016 while he was still college, and is a multiple-time high school and NCAA Division I champion.

Snyder looks to defend his gold medal from four years ago when he returns to the Olympics this summer in Tokyo.

Here are five things to know about Snyder.

1. Snyder was 179-0 in high school.

Yes, you read that right. 

Snyder attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., competing in the most competitive athletic conference in the area. His domination was incredible. 

He was a winner of three Prep championships, and according to the Washington Post, only allowed one takedown over his three years. 

Snyder did not wrestle his senior year as he chose to train at the United States Olympic Training Center and competing in Junior World Championships.

2. At Ohio State, Snyder finished 75-5 with only one loss his final three seasons.

Snyder's dominance in high school directly translated to the college ranks. As a true freshman, Snyder finished 30-4, finishing runner-up to Iowa State's Kyven Gadson, who was four years older than him. The Buckeyes won the NCAA Division I team championship that season.

Over the next three years, Snyder went 45-1. He is a three-time NCAA Division I national champion.

3. Snyder won three of wrestling's most prestigious events before his 21st birthday.

At age 19, Snyder became the United States' youngest World Champion ever, taking home first place in the 2015 World Wrestling Championships. There, he defeated the reigning world champion, Russia’s Abdusalam Gadisov. 

Just weeks after that, Snyder returned to Ohio State and captured his first individual NCAA title, defeating N.C. State's Nickolos Gwiazdowski. 

He concluded his remarkable run that summer when he took home the gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio for the 97 kg. weight class.

4. President Trump appointed Snyder to the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018.

Snyder was one of 20 members selected by the president to serve on the council.

Other notable names include former Yankees star Johnny Damon and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Mariano Rivera, Herschel Walker and Misty May-Treanor were named co-chairs of the Council.

5. Snyder left Ohio State to train with Nittany Lion Wrestling Club at Penn State this past October.

The move shocked many in the wrestling world.

Snyder, who was apparently unhappy with his third-place finish in September's World Wrestling Championships, decided to leave the program for one of its rivals.

The 2020 Olympics will be a good measure if the move paid off or not.