BUDDING PLAYMAKER — Former Nederland star Kyndon Fuselier ready to make college impact
Published 12:20 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023
BEAUMONT — Coming off a stellar football career at Nederland High School, do-it-all player Kyndon Fuselier was certain to have multiple offers from universities to play at the next level.
As the final signing day approached, only one college, McNeese State, offered the receiver a scholarship.
Fuselier was close to accepting before the head coach took a job with LSU, forcing the Mustangs to hire a new coach, who had his own thoughts about the recruiting class and pulled Fuselier’s offer.
The former Bulldogs standout, who played a major role in helping Nederland earn a district title and an appearance in the third round of the 2020 playoffs, ended up walking on at Lamar University.
The situation was not ideal. At the time, the Cardinals ran a run-heavy offense, which made it hard for a young receiver to show he is deserving of a scholarship.
But Fuselier made the most of his time on the field. During limited action, he hauled in eight catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. He also averaged a monstrous 20-yards-per-catch.
His performance was enough to get some good news during the exit meeting after the season.
“The coach told me that he liked what I was doing and offered me a scholarship,” Fuselier said. “It felt amazing. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders.”
While he has found success at the college level, Fuselier notices a difference in the pace of the game at the next level. He even had a welcome-to-the-next-level moment.
“We were playing (Incarnate Word),” Fuselier remembers. “One of our returners got hurt. They put me back there to return. I caught it at about the 5-yard line. I didn’t see someone coming at me and I got popped and hurt my knee.”
Pete Rossomando took over the head coach position in January and said Fuselier checks all the boxes.
“He is an incredible football player and loves football,” Rossomando said. “There are guys that like football. There are guys who do it as a means to an end. Then, there are guys who love it and you can see it on their face when they practice. (Fuselier) is that guy. He competes and gives great attention to detail.”
One of the reasons Fuselier didn’t get many offers coming out of high school was a “sub-par” 40-yard dash time. Recruiters and scouts often get players to run that distance to try and determine the true speed of a player.
Rossomando said coaches need to look no further than the game tape to see Fuselier’s true game speed.
“He is not fast on a stopwatch, but when you put him on a football field, he is faster than everybody,” the coach said. “They say ‘When you are thinkin’, you are stinkin’. He doesn’t think because he understands, so he plays really, really fast. On play 20 and play 30 of the game, when you are wearing down, he is just getting started.”
Fuselier said this season he is focused on improving in every aspect of the game.
“I want us to win the Southland Conference and get a ring,” he said. “I want to be First Team All Conference and get 1,000 yards.”
Lamar opens the season against Idaho on Aug. 31 at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont.