Name: Jake Bull
School: Hillsdale College
Position: Offensive Line
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
First and foremost, I wanted my team to win games, and although we didn’t accomplish our goal of winning the conference, we finished with our best record since 2012 (7-4). Personally, I wanted to have flawless technique on every play, and dominate my opponents on every snap. Also, as a Tight End who got converted to Offensive Tackle my true freshman year, I wanted to improve my game in some tangible way every time I stepped on the field. I felt that I accomplished all my goals, that 2017 was undoubtedly my best year yet, and that my ceiling still goes much higher as an NFL prospect.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Smart, Athletic, and Violent.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I have already started training at PowerStrength Training Systems in Grand Rapids, MI in preparation for my pro opportunity. I have been training there every summer since my Senior year of high school, and they have been integral in getting me to the point of being an NFL prospect. They have a proven track record with training NFL players (such as Jared Veldheer of the Arizona Cardinals), and they push their athletes to be their absolute best.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
I zero in on the defensive players I will be facing on game day, and I look for their tendencies against various types of schemes and blocks. Usually, guys have certain go-to moves and stance alignments that give away what they’re going to do before the ball is snapped. I study these tendencies over and over, visualizing them in my head and mentally going through the game multiple times before Saturday comes.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
What separates me is what I talked about in the previous question. In addition to my work ethic on the practice field and in the weight room, I invest countless hours into my mental preparation. I made it a habit in college to visualize myself performing three perfect plays every morning when I woke up, and I would spend 3-4 additional hours on my own of film study and visualization throughout the game week. This is what I know for a fact separates me from other players at my position, and although I don’t normally like to talk about it, it’s what has allowed me to go from never playing Offensive Line in my life to being a dominant, All-Conference, four-year starter at Hillsdale.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
One of the biggest qualities I would bring to a team is my leadership ability. I was voted captain by my coaches and teammates my Junior and Senior seasons, and I have an exceptional ability to lead vocally and by example, both on and off the field. Additionally, I was the 2016 and 2017 recipient of our team’s scholarship, leadership, and ability award as voted on by the coaches and given to only one player. I also have the intelligence to not only understand my job in the playbook, but everyone else’s as well. Having been very well coached at Hillsdale, I have great footwork and technique, as well as a nasty demeanor with finishing blocks. Being a former Tight End and having a basketball background in high school has also given me great foot quickness for a big man.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
I never have, nor ever will be, complacent or entitled. I am a small-school converted Tight End who used work ethic, determination, persistence, intelligence, and coachability to become an exceptional four-year starter. These are qualities I will bring to a pro team. I am able to play any position along the offensive line, and although I had a great college career, my ceiling is much, much higher. The 2017 season was my best to date, but I guarantee that I will be even better in 2018.