Bullard sets announcement date, talks Clemson

by - Senior Writer -

SPARTANBURG – The eyes have it, at least when it comes to Shelby (NC) Crest defensive end Jonathan Bullard Jonathan Bullard
Defensive Line
6-4, 250
Shelby, NC

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Bullard was in Spartanburg Monday for the first day of Shrine Bowl practices, and the eyes of many of the college coaches, high school coaches, recruiting gurus and media were on the 6-4, 255-pounder as he went through his basic drills. In addition, he passes the “eye” test in a major way.

Seeing him in person makes you realize how explosive he is off the ball, and he proved on Monday that he can get into an offensive backfield in a hurry. He moves his feet well and really uses his hands to shed blocks, and when he has to he can simply bull rush the offensive lineman and push him deep into the backfield.

I spent a good bit of the practice trying to think of someone to compare him to, and it was hard to come up with someone. In a way, he reminds me of Corey Crawford in how he blends his speed and athleticism in a power package. Or, as one of his coaches told me Monday, how many defensive ends do you know that can line up at wide receiver and even throw a touchdown pass in the playoffs?

TigerNet spoke with Bullard at length following Monday’s practice, and even though he says he has a top three of Clemson, South Carolina and Florida, I almost got the feeling this is a Clemson/South Carolina battle. He said that Clemson feels like “home” and he is intrigued by the number of athletes at South Carolina, and he said that South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is going to do an in-home visit with Bullard’s mother this week.

He also said that he feels “70 percent” about where he wants to go, and will have his final decision next Wednesday in an announcement at his school.

“I thought there might be a break from recruiting down here, but there is even more because of all the press conferences,” Bullard told TigerNet. “I am pretty sure I know where I want to go, and I am going to make my decision next Wednesday. I am just going to sit down and weigh it all out and see how it goes. It is down to Clemson, South Carolina and Florida.”

Bullard said he loves the Clemson environment.

“It’s like a big family every time I go there,” he said. “One of my best friends is Carlos Watkins Carlos Watkins
Defensive Line
6-4, 285
Forest City, NC

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and he is going there, so it would be nice to play with him. But I know that all of their players are like a family, and I know they are taken care. And I have a great relationship with Coach [Dan] Brooks. He is a really cool guy; my family likes him and my mom likes him. He has done a great job of recruiting me.”

Watkins, the Forest City (NC) Chase defensive tackle that recently committed to Clemson, lined up next to Bullard during most of the drills during Monday’s practice, and he said he is talking up the Tigers while trying to not put too much pressure on his friend.

“I have been talking to him, trying to put a bug in his ear about Clemson,” Watkins said. “But I don’t want to bother him. He knows where he wants to go and he will make the decision that is best for him. But it would be great to be able to play with him in college.”

Watch David Hood's interview with Bullard below

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