This Gun's For Hire

Tyree Bullock a 5-foot-10, 165-pound defensive back from Durham, N.C., is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, but he's not sitting by the phone or staking out the mailbox. Instead he's on the move in and out to prove he's a high-major prospect.

Bullock just got back from Clemson, where he and Hillside High School teammates Greg Little and Jonathan Smith took part in the Nike Combine. Fully recovered from wrist surgery that cost him all but five games in 2005, Bullock is steadily regaining the strength and speed lost during his nearly four months of inactivity.

Tyree Bullock reports improving his time in the 40 from a 4.55 as measured in January to a 4.48 clocking. He performed 16 reps of 185 pounds in the bench press and upped his vertical from 29 inches to 34. Most impressive was his 4.40 time in the short shuttle which measures the lateral quickness so essential to playing press coverage.

Despite an injury shortened junior season in which the very young Hornets struggled to a 4-6 mark, Tyree posted some impressive numbers.

"I got hurt about the fifth game of the season so I only played half the season," Bullock explained. "I finished the season with four picks, 49 tackles and 13 catches for 300 yards and two touchdowns. I also had two punt returns for touchdowns and one interception for a touchdown.

Double those figures over the course of a 10-game regular season and Bullock would have 98 tackles, eight interceptions with one returned for a touchdown on defense. On offense he would project with 26 catches for 600 yards and four touchdowns. Add four special team's TDs and he would have a total of 10 touchdowns.

With excellent quickness and a good burst on the ball, Bullock fits the classic description of a cover corner. He also has the intangibles required to survive and thrive on an island. His confidence in his athletic ability is exceeded only by his desire to improve and impress.

"I guard the best receiver on the other team every game," said Bullock. "The key is confidence and also just knowing the game and studying game film. Another thing is my teammates help me a lot."

Greg Little is one of those teammates that is high on virtually every college team's wish list. A five-star prospect, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Little could play wide receiver, running back, defensive back or even linebacker at the next level.

Tennessee would love to add a Little bit of magic to its developing offense, and picking up his good friend Tyree for support in the secondary might be a very nice bonus.

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