Carson Wentz has been searching for a No. 1 wide receiver for over a year now, and he might’ve finally found one in Travis Fulgham.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been unable to surround Wentz with quality receivers his whole career. Greg Ward, who was a quarterback in college, was Wentz’s best option last season while DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery rode the bench with injuries. GM Howie Roseman loaded up on receivers in the 2020 NFL draft, but none of them have stepped up quite yet.
Instead, it’s been Fulgham who’s leaped into the No. 1 WR role in Philadelphia. So, who is Fulgham and where did he come from?
Travis Fulgham had no scholarship offers out of high school
Fulgham’s journey to the NFL was anything but ordinary. Growing up in Ashburn, Va., Fulgham wasn’t on any college’s recruiting radar. He wasn’t even rated by 247 Sports coming out of high school in 2014.
But that didn’t stop Fulgham from chasing his dream. He enrolled at Old Dominion University and tried out for the football team as a freshman. Fulgham impressed the coaching staff so much that he earned a walk-on roster spot as a wide receiver.
Throughout his college career, Fulgham improved his game more and more as time went on. He recorded just six catches in his first season with the team, but he gradually worked his way up the depth chart and became the best wide receiver in the entire conference as a senior.
Fulgham recorded 63 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior in 2018. His 1,083 receiving yards led all of Conference USA, and his streak of nine consecutive games with a touchdown catch led all of Division I.
Fulgham earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl after his incredible senior season, becoming the first offensive player from Old Dominion to do so. His journey from walk-on to NFL draft prospect is an inspiring one, but Fulgham’s story is far from finished.
Fulgham maneuvered practice squads for two years before finding his way into the Eagles’ starting lineup
On April 27, 2019, Fulgham’s childhood dream of making it to the NFL finally came true. The WR was selected by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft.
Fulgham spent most of his first professional season on the Lions’ practice squad. He ended up appearing in three games and received three targets in 2019, but he didn’t have a single catch to show for it.
Fulgham was released by the Lions prior to the start of the 2020 season. A day later, the Packers claimed him to their practice squad, but he only lasted a week and change in Green Bay. Then, the Eagles came calling.
Fulgham joined Philadelphia as a practice squad player in late August, and a plethora of injuries jolted the second-year WR to the active roster for their Oct. 4 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
We all know what happened next.
Fulgham has exploded onto the scene to become the Eagles No. 1 wide receiver
In his first game with the Eagles, all Fulgham did was catch the game-winning touchdown pass from Wentz to beat the 49ers and possibly save the season. A week later, a star may have been born.
Fulgham followed up his heroic debut with 10 catches, 152 yards, and a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Yes, those Pittsburgh Steelers. You know, the ones that have surrendered the fewest yards to opposing offenses this season. And Fulgham made their secondary look like a Conference USA group.
Flashes in the pan happen all the time in the NFL, but Fulgham seems like he could be the real deal. He certainly has the trust of Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson, and they don’t really have any other options right now, anyway.
Fulgham will have all the opportunity in the world this season to prove he belongs on this stage. Six years ago, he was a no-star recruit with no scholarship offers out of high school. Six weeks ago, he was struggling to stay on a practice squad.
Never give up on your dreams, kids.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference