Tony Gulla ready to make name for himself

Tony Gulla wasn't the deep threat at Austin (TX) Westlake last year. What he did was worse. He caught anything and everythign across the middle and made big plays just when you thought he couldn't. Gulla this year is eyeing Westlake's career reception record.

Last year the offense at Austin (TX) Westlake leaned heavily on the efforts from Tyler Campbell to run the ball. When they needed someone to stretch the field there was Coy Aune on the outside. Tony Gulla was the conversion man and kept drives alive each and every time.

At 6-foot-0 and 175 pounds Tony Gulla isn't afraid to go to the middle. With Coy stretching the field behind him Tony worked the middle against teams who couldn't cover him from his slot position.

"I had 49 receptions for 830 yards and three touchdowns. I need to become more of a big-play receiver," Gulla said. It's those stats and his play that earned him second-team all-district, Honorable Mention CENTEX and academic all-district honors last season.

After seeing his film there was really only one time where Gulla was thrown the ball in the end zone. The other two touchdown catches he had he created. Often times he found himself catching and running over opposing defensive backs. You can attribute that to his 260 pound bench and 370 pound squat. The 4.5 second 40-yard dash didn't hurt either.

His reliable hands and ability to run with the ball after he makes the catch have some impressive teams sending him mail. "I've been getting a lot of mail from Iowa. Nebraska has been sending me some mail and I like what their saying. I am also hearing from Notre Dame, Texas A&M and SMU. I just went to SMU's Junior Day. I like the area where the school is at."

So far Gulla doesn't have any offers, but that should change at any time. If his father gets his way his son may be heading North. "My father would really like if it I went to Notre Dame. He's Catholic. I think that it would be a great experience to play under Coach Willingham."

Another school up North may present some opportunity for Gulla who finds himself trying to play like Jerry Rice. "There really could be the best opportunity for me at Nebraska. I love the Raiders offense. Jerry Rice is my man."

Gulla also likes to try and play like Cris Carter. His hands are very comparable. But unlike Carter who "only catches touchdowns", Gulla can make the scoring catches, but will also make the sacrifice of doing the little things right.

"Everybody says that I look like Wayne Chrebet on film," Gulla said. Attribute those comments to his ability on the playing field and not his stature. Gulla makes the right reads, concentrates on the ball and always uses his hands to make the reception. He keeps the sticks moving and the momentum always in their favor.

This year Gulla can challenge for Westlake's all-time receptions record. After hauling in 10 receptions as a sophomore and 49 last season Gulla only needs 50 more to break the record. With his eyes on that record he is also looking at the team's goals for this upcoming fall.

"This year we want a district championship and then the state championship. We also want to go undefeated. There's only been one school in Westlake history to do that," Gulla said.

Bryan Munson can be contacted at NURules@comcast.net.


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