Jack of all trades

Alex Bullard has turned out to be a jack of all trades for Derek Dooley and the Tennessee offensive line. Read as InsideTennessee goes in depth with the former Notre Dame transfer.

Former Notre Dame transfer and Franklin native Alex Bullard may have been at Tennessee since last spring, but the offensive lineman is still looking for a home.

Bullard, a former Brentwood Academy standout, has now played every position along the Tennessee offensive line since his arrival.

"He played all five in the spring," coach Derek Dooley said. "It is terrible for him, but it is valuable for us, because he gets about 20 percent of the reps that the other guys get at a position.

"It's hard on him, but its very valuable for us, because you know when we have a hole to plug, he is like the cork."

Even though Bullard is versatile enough to provide depth or start at any of the five spots in the trenches, he seems to have settled in at left guard.

"Guard in this offense is a little different than what I am used to, but I feel comfortable there," he said.

During his first year at Notre Dame, Bullard redshirted and after working at guard during his freshman season, Bullard was then moved to tackle in order to compete for a starting position. Bullard saw action in three games during the 2010 season before departing South Bend to be closer to his family.

Bullard showed out during Tennessee's spring training camp, earning the Harvey Robinson Offseason Award, which honors the offensive surprise of the spring.

Listed at 6-foot-2, 310 pounds, Bullard is the son of the late Louis Bullard, a former NFL offensive lineman, who played with the Seattle Seahawks during the late 80s after a college career at Jacksonville State.

Dooley says that Bullard's frame is what allows him to be so flexible in the trenches.

"It is his body type," the second-year head man said. "He has got the body type to be a good, physical guard. He has got enough range, he's not a prototype tackle, but he has enough range to hold up in space.

"He is smart and he is tough. When you have the right body type that can hold up at any position — you know that is the first thing is the body type."

Bullard appears to have overtaken redshirt sophomore JerQuari Schofield and freshman Marcus Jackson in the competition at left guard. If one of those two moves back up to the first-team unit, Bullard maintains that he will contribute in any way he can.

"I think I can find a home at any position," Bullard said. "If my role ends up being a backup role then I can find a home there.

"It is just my personality. I am always fighting to be the best. I don't want to just be in the top five. I want to be the No. 1. I just want to help Tennessee win an SEC championship."

Bullard may be under the tutelage of Tennessee offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, but he still hasn't forgotten a thing or two from his days at Notre Dame.

"I am ready to go if someone goes down," Bullard said. "I am ready to go and contribute that way so that we don't miss a beat. One thing I learned when I was at Notre Dame was — next man in. I kind of bring that philosophy here. If someone goes down we don't miss a beat."

As a Brentwood Acacdemy senior, Bullard earn numerous accolades including Div. II All-State by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Super Southern 100.

Brentwood Acacdemy, with the help of Bullard, found its way to the Div. II Class AAA state championship game.

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