Sunday, April 27, 2008

John Sullivan is a Viking

John Sullivan, one of the best players in Greenwich High School football history (along with Ken Bell and some guy named Steve Young and others) has made the big leap into the NFL. A two-way lineman who dominated the FCIAC and the state of Connecticut, Big John was drafted today by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round - the 187th overall pick.

Analysis can be harsh, and the word on Sullivan was not the praise that one might have expected when he left Greenwich for Notre Dame following the 2002 season. Coming into the draft, said:
Sullivan has short arms, which is not ideal for a center, and he may lack some toughness, but he has smarts and is adept at knowing the offense. He was the leader of a Notre Dame offensive line that struggled mightily and he needs to show more tenacity.
To me, there's no doubting his smarts. Having called every single one of his games from 2000 to 2002, I got to know John and his family a little, and they're quality people. John joined me on WGCH on Thanksgiving Day in 2002 for a quarter and he was fun to talk with.

I'm no draft guru, but I've always thought that if he came out of school following his junior season, he would have been a high second round pick. John showed tremendous durability, starting 31 straight games until a knee sprain put him on the sideline in 2007. Of course the Irish also had, shall we say, a rather disappointing year in '07 - and that's putting it mildly. Those factors saw Sullivan's stock fall.

So congratulations to John Sullivan. All of Greenwich takes pride in seeing a good guy make it to the NFL, though I don't think anybody is surprised.

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