April 27, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- When J'Nathan Bullock signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Cleveland State in the fall of 2004, he did so dreaming of the day that he would some day sign a professional contract. That dream came to fruition on Sunday night when he committed to starting his pro career in New York.
The only problem is that instead of signing with either of the areas two NBA teams -- the New York Knicks or the New Jersey Nets -- he opted to become a Jet. As in the New York Jets of the NFL.
Bullock ended a frenetic month of re-learning the football skills that made him one of the most prominent players in Michigan high school football during his senior year during the Fall of 2004 by signing a free agent contract with the Jets. He will report to a Jets mini-camp this weekend (May 1-3) before returning to Cleveland State to finish his final two weeks of class. He will graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering on May 15.
A first team All-Horizon League selection in each of the last two years, Bullock finished his Viking basketball career by ranking fourth in CSU history with 1,800 points. He played in a school-record 130 games, also holding record for career starts (124) and consecutive starts (106).
Still, as award after award came his way throughout his playing career, the questions kept coming regarding the promising football career that he left behind when he came to CSU. When the Vikings were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round on March 22, Bullock turned his attention to football to see what he could do. Could he make it to the NFL as tight end.
On April 10th, Bullock invited representatives from all 32 NFL teams to attend a workout in the Krenzler Field bubble and personally evaluate his football playing ability for themselves. Thirteen teams came, a total previously unheard of to see a player who hadn't played a down in over five years.
The work out went well with Bullock testing average or above average in every drill. When it came to the last phase -- pass catching -- Bullock did not disappoint, hauling in all but one of the multitude of passes. He caught them low, high and behind him.
The workout led to more workouts and to a couple of personal visits to NFL training facilities for, you guessed it, more workouts.
When the NFL Draft started on Saturday (April 26), Bullock knew that there was a small chance that his name would be chosen. If so, it would come late in the day in Sunday (April 27) when the seventh and final round was selected.
Bullock's name was not called but unlike the multitude of players across the country in the same situation, he was ready. The Jets, the team that he favored from the start of the process, had offered him a spot on the roster as a free agent. He quickly took them up on the offer.
This means that Bullock, who wore the Green and White for the Vikings the last four years, will be wearing the Green and White for the Jets this fall. By the way, the Jets play neither the Browns or the (Minnesota) Vikings.