Left tackle Fulton discusses his future

By Daniel Johnson

After changing positions from the defensive line, left tackle Xavier Fulton is now thriving on the other side of the ball.

The senior from Flossmoor, Ill., is a candidate for the Lombardi Trophy, the award given annually to the nations best linebacker or lineman who exemplifies the disciplines of Vince Lombardi. Fulton was also named second-team All-Big Ten last year, helping lead the Illini to the fifth best rushing total in the NCAA.

The Daily Illini spoke with Fulton on Tuesday about football, his brother, and potentially opening a movie theater.

Daily Illini: You seemed to have lost some of the spring to your step, are you hurting some?

Xavier Fulton: I’m hurting because I’m old (laughs). Well, I’m really just hurting because I’m banged up for these past couple weeks here.

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We’ve been extraordinarily physical these past three games in the Big Ten, now, but it’s normal.

DI: What has it been like for you working with freshman Jeff Allen so far this year, and the new people to the line in general?

XF: I would say that, coming from the defensive side, and knowing what it’s like on the offensive side, (opposing teams) are going to blitz you a lot more, to the younger, inexperienced guy.

That’s been happening since Jeff’s been playing, and it’s just something he’s going to have to overcome, but he’s adjusted well.

DI: Have you started to consider anything after school yet? Have you given any thought to the draft yet?

XF: Not really, right now I’m just making sure I get to class on time. If the opportunity came, sure, if not I’d be more than happy with walking when I’m older, so.

DI: Assuming that for whatever reason you don’t go to the NFL or if you do and you finish up, what would you like to do afterward?

XF: My long-term, like dream I’d be totally happy with the rest of my life? This is going to sound weird, but I’d love to own my own movie theater one day. I am a big movie buff, so, nothing big, just something kind of like the Virginia Theatre or Boardman’s Art Theatre. Just one screen, a few shows a day, it’d be pretty good. That’s what I’d like to do.

DI: What is it like for you having your brother, Zach, being recruited now? What advice are you giving him?

XF: I’ve just been telling him to stay on his book. Recruiting and all that, it’s just icing on the cake, because if his grades aren’t there, it means nothing. I’d really prefer him to put down the phone or not open that (recruitment) letter and go study.