The NFL draft was winding down in the 7th round last Sunday when Kevin McCullough's phone rang. It was the New York Jets, and they were considering picking the All-Big-East middle linebacker with their final pick. Kevin described the event. "It was about the 220th pick, and the Jets had the 235th pick in the 7th round. They called and said they were considering taking me along with a few other guys. They said that if they didn't pick me they still wanted to bring me in as a free agent." The Jets used that final pick on Chansi Stuckey, a wide receiver from Clemson, but soon afterward, the Jets and Kevin's agent agreed in principal on a free agent contract.
Word quickly got out that Kevin was a free agent with the Jets, but Kevin
has been somewhat reluctant to talk about it because no contract has yet been
When Kevin came to
Enzor liked McCullough and is responsible for giving the
Before being sidelined by an injury in 2005, McCullough made 60 tackles in 10 games which put him 4th on the squad in tackles, but the best was yet to come. Last season Kevin lead the stingy Bearcats' defense in both tackles (72) and tackles for loss (14.5) which earned the 6' 2"/240 pounder 1st team All-Big East honors, but as an NFL free agent, he knows he returns to the NFL's version of a walk-on and must once again prove himself. "I kind of like being the underdog. It motivates me."
When Kevin leaves for
Free agents are usually long shots to make NFL rosters, but Kevin feels
the NFL draft showed respect for Bearcat football. "We got a couple guys drafted and more
of us are in NFL camps. With the
guys they're recruiting and have on the team, I think we're going to dominate
the draft in the future." It was
that kind of attitude that made McCullough one of
After taking a closer look at the Jets' draft, there is both good and bad
news for McCullough's chances of remaining on the
Hopefully, the New York Jet staff will learn what Bearcat fans already know. Kevin McCullough won't be the biggest, fastest or strongest linebacker in camp, but he will play with intelligence and heart. He'll be a leader both on and off the field, and when given an adequate chance, he'll make plays-just ask any of the offensive coordinator in the Big East.