J'Nathan Bullock: A Basketball Player's Journey to Become an NFL Tight End

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IJuly 19, 2009

J'Nathan Bullock is a name that very few NFL fans know because Bullock didn't play college football, he played basketball for Cleveland State University instead, and hasn't played football since his days in high school.

As a senior in high school, Bullock was a running back and rushed for 865 yards and five touchdowns at Flint Northern High School in Flint, MI.

In college, Bullock was an outstanding forward for the Cleveland State Vikings and helped the Vikes get to the NCAA Tournament in March of 2009, which was the teams first appearance in the tournament since 1986.

He was named First-Team All-Horizon League in 2009 averaging 14.8 points per game.

After the Vikings were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, Bullock had a tough decision to make regarding what he was going to do next.

Pondering the NBA Draft, Bullock eventually decided to declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft this past April.

Bullock went to workouts for various teams, but unfortunately was not drafted by any team.

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After the draft, Bullock received a phone call from the New York Jets, who wanted to sign him to a undrafted free agent contract and wanted Bullock to be a tight end for their team.

Bullock agreed and left for New York.

During the mini camps, Bullock must have made an excellent impression on the Jets coaching staff, because just recently, the Jet have released veteran tight end Bubba Franks from their roster.

This means that Bullock has a slightly better chance at making the final roster because he is now only one of only six tight ends on the Jets current roster.

Bullock is just like two other former college basketball stars, Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates, that made the transition to become a successful NFL tight end.

Bullock definitely has the size and agility to become a tight end in the NFL (he is 6'5" 240 pounds).

During training camp in August, all eyes will be focused on new franchise quarterback Mark Sanchez, but Bullock is another player to watch and if Bullock can develop a good rapport with Sanchez then watch out for this tandem in the very near future.

If Bullock can make the Jets roster by opening day of the 2009 season it will be a remarkable feat and it will be the first Cleveland State University alumni to make a professional sports team in decades (even though it's ironic that it will be for football when Cleveland State doesn't even have a football program).


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