Former Clemson running back C.J. Fuller dies


School officials say former Clemson running back C.J. Fuller has died at 22.

His death was announced Wednesday by Clemson University and Easley High School officials. 

Fuller was a running back at Clemson through last season after starring at Easley High School.

Few details of his death were immediately known. 

Fuller’s death is under investigation by the Pickens County Coroner’s Office and could take six to eight weeks to complete.

“Just knowing that he’s a text away is going to be the hardest part that it’s not going to be returned or a phone call won’t be returned just the finality of it all,” said Grayson Howell who was Fuller’s former football coach.

Coroner Kandy Kelley confirms Fuller died Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Greenville Memorial Hospital where he was taken from a family member’s home.

7News is told by friends that he had knee surgery several weeks prior and was receiving physical therapy, but it’s not clear if that contributed to his death.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement posted on the Tigers’ website:

Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with C.J.’s family. I’ve known C.J. a long time and watched him grow up through the Easley rec leagues all the way through Easley High School. I’m proud of what he accomplished as a Clemson Tiger, most of all, his accomplishment of being a Clemson graduate. Our deepest condolences and the thoughts of our program are with his family this evening. May he rest in peace. 

Fuller was a standout player at Easley High School, where he rushed over 3,300 yards and had 27 touchdowns.

“It was his freshman against Riverside he scored 28 points and when I say he scored, I mean defense, offense, special teams. We knew we had someone amazing and when he moved to varsity he broke the single rush record in 2012,” said Chad Smith who was Fuller’s former high school coach.

Fuller lettered as a running back at Clemson from 2015 to 2017. He scored the first touchdown of the 2017 season in the win over Kent State.

He was also on Clemson’s National Championship Team in  2016, and caught a touchdown pass in their semi-final win against Ohio State University.

Fuller appeared in 43 games for Clemson and “recorded 147 career carries for 599 yards with four rushing touchdowns in addition to catching 18 passes for 155 yards with two receiving touchdowns,” according to the Tigers.

In late 2017, Fuller announced he would transfer to another school. 

He intended to play his final season of college football elsewhere this season, but was charged with a crime after leaving the Clemson program.

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