MIAMI SHORES — In the run-up to Friday’s Orange Bowl, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has spoke often of his players’ tendency to fight through adversity. He’s not just talking about stars like quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins. He’s also talking about players like Zach Fulmer.
The red-shirt senior and Saluda High product will be on the field Friday as the No. 12 Tigers face No. 6 Ohio State at the Orange Bowl in Miami. And while South Florida is a long way from South Carolina, Fulmer’s journey from Saluda to the Clemson football team was even longer.
The Tigers never recruited Fulmer. So, instead of a football scholarship, he simply went to Clemson as a student. Not that he didn’t have
interest elsewhere. Fulmer actually passed on offers to continue his playing career at Newberry College and even the University of Pennsylvania.
“I wanted to go to Clemson,” he said. “I really wasn’t thinking about football at the time. I was more interested in Clemson academically.”
But once at Clemson, the football bug bit Fulmer, and he decided to give it one more try, attempting to join the team as a walk-on. He didn’t make it.
“It was frustrating,” he recalled. “I had actually kinda said goodbye to football after high school but thought maybe I could do it again.”
MORE IN TODAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL