Bedford's Hull Way Under The Radar

After transferring to Bedford from Benedictine High School after his sophomore year, Ulysses Hull suffered a broken leg and was forced to miss half of his junior season. At 6-2 and 290 pounds, Hull, a black belt in the martial arts, is preparing to have his best season yet at defensive tackle so he'll have a choice from the multiple scholarship offers that are certain to come his way.

There could be multiple reasons why Ulysses Hull of Bedford High School is not a prominent name in the recruiting circles at this time.

For starters, Hull began prep career at Benedictine High School before he transferred to Bedford in time for his junior year, where he proceeded to suffer a fracture in his leg during the fifth game of the season.

"I was a student in the Bedford city school district all the way up through eighth grade," Hull said. "I was recruited by a Benedictine coach and attended that school for two years."

However a lack of playing time combined with the fact that there was an added financial burden for the family to keep him at Benedictine prompted Hull to make the change to attend the city's public high school in Bedford.

"I had moved up to the varsity after my freshman season," Hull said. "I played some varsity in my sophomore season at back-up defensive tackle and offensive guard, so I did play some. If I would have played two more quarters I would have lettered, but I didn't play enough."

His situation, with respect to playing time, increased dramatically in his first year at Bedford. But half-way through his first season with the Bearcats Hull was faced with some adversity.

"My season was going pretty great," Hull said. "Through four games I had about 26 tackles and two sacks. But I got hurt at the beginning of the fifth game and I missed the rest of (regular) season. I fractured my tibia but I was fortunate enough to make it back for the playoff game against Tallmadge and I played a great game. That's the game tape that I've been showing everybody."

Although his season didn't turn out the way he might have liked it to overall, it wasn't a total loss for Hull by any means.

"I got a lot out of it. I think it helped me a lot," Hull said. "And some of the coaches and scouts that I've talked to have been very understanding about my injury. And by me playing great in that Tallmadge game, or so they say, was what really helped me out. So my season wasn't in vain even though I got hurt."

That being said, it certainly wasn't easy for Hull to have to sit out for half of the season with an injury.

"I was pretty upset that I couldn't play," he said. "The only game that we lost that I sat out was against Maple Heights and I felt like maybe I could have made a difference in the game."

It certainly would have helped Bedford's cause having a healthy 6-2, 290-pound defensive tackle against a team that finished 10-0 during the regular season. Especially someone that has a black belt in the martial arts, Tai Kwon Do, like Hull has.

"I started that back in my sixth-grade year and finished close to the end of my eighth-grade year," Hull said. "I am a first-degree black belt in the martial arts."

It was just something that he always wanted to do.

"Growing up I was a huge fan of Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles," said Hull with a chuckle. "But my mother is a dancer and she figured that martial arts would help me with agility and flexibility, and so she got me involved with that."

Although he's not a practicing black belt right now Hull admitted that he can kick someone's behind if the situation should warrant it.

"It's noted on my driver's license or somewhere on my ID," he said, "and it's against the law for me to use it unless needed."

But all of the skills that he's acquired from the martial arts, both mental as well as physical, are certainly legal when Hull is out on the football field.

"It helps me out a lot," Hull said. "Flexibility for one as well as quickness with my hands, being a defensive lineman. I hear a lot of coaches tell me that I have quick hands and I think that's one of the many benefits of Tai Kwon Do."

And when you throw a 5.03-second time in the 40-yard dash into the mix, it should be good enough to make Hull a very attractive prospect at defensive tackle. A position that isn't very deep in talent in Ohio as far as recruiting is concerned this year.

"What I'm hearing now is that coaches want to see me on tape a lot more," Hull said. "I went to the camps and performed very well but a lot of the schools still want to see me on tape. And some schools are waiting on my transcripts before they make offers."

Hull was a participant in the Ted Ginn Foundation Bus Tour and was exposed to many universities and their coaching staffs.

"Just getting the exposure and learning different techniques from different defensive line coaches at different universities was the best part of the tour," he said. "You take a little bit from what all of the coaches know and you try to piece it together for your benefit."

Ohio State has not been one of the schools to offer Hull any immediate feedback since he was at their camp.

"I heard some good things from them when I was down there at their camp but prior to that I hadn't heard from them," he said. "And I haven't heard from them much since."

Ideally he would like to have a chance to play in the Big Ten or the ACC but he has no problem playing in the MAC if that's where he should end up.

"I feel that the MAC conference has been moving up the past couple of years and they're making a name for themselves," Hull said. "A couple of schools like Toledo, Akron and Miami of Ohio have really been putting themselves on the map in the MAC conference."

But Hull could be a real value-pickup if a school in one of those other conferences should take a chance on him. Iowa and Maryland are certainly two schools that have expressed an interest in him.

"I have to prove myself in my senior year," Hull said. "That's why I'm trying to do everything in my power to make these schools want me. I'm trying to get to 4.9 or better in the 40. I'm training hard every day so I can crack that 4.9."

And in the process, Hull is trying to do whatever it takes so that he can help lead his team to the post-season again this year. Last year Bedford finished the season with a 7-4 mark.

"I'm very excited and I'm looking forward to a lot of great things happening this year," Hull said. "The goal is to make it past the first round of the playoffs this year and hopefully win a state championship like the teams did when I was at Benedictine."

Hull, who also throws the shot put during track season, is a 3.0 honor student and he got a 22 on his ACT score. He plays the drums for the Bedford Jazz and Blues Band, he's one of the leaders of the school's drama club and he's on the student council advisory committee.

"I just like to be a well-rounded student-athlete," Hull said. "I think that's what a lot of schools are looking for. I think all of the work I've put in to this point is going to pay off. It's just a matter of time."

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