Mulkey flips hardwood for gridiron, will try out for Bills
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • May 02, 2012 @ 2:26pm
Former University at Buffalo men’s basketball point guard Byron Mulkey will participate in the Buffalo Bills’ rookie mini-camp, a UB sports press release reports. The exceptional athlete will try to follow in the footsteps of Antonio Gates—a former college basketball player who successfully transitioned to professional football.
The report states that Mulkey will try out as a slot receiver or defensive back in the camp that runs May 11 through 13.
Long-time advocate Reggie Witherspoon, Mulkey’s head coach at UB, did not bet against his former maestro’s chances in another sport.
“Byron is the type of person that, when he puts his mind to something, he goes after it,” Witherspoon said in the release. “I definitely think that he will give them every reason to be staring at him. I’m really thankful to the Buffalo Bills for giving Byron this opportunity. It speaks to the importance of their presence in our community.”
An All-Western New York selection in football at Niagara Wheatfield High School, Mulkey walked onto the Bulls’ basketball team before earning a scholarship. The roadblocks continued, as the tenacious guard unselfishly heeded Witherspoon’s advice to red-shirt his senior season for more playing time the following year, and Mulkey eventually earned All-MAC Second Team honors after his final year with the program.
Mulkey embarked on a professional basketball opportunity in Morocco, but wound up returning to the University at Buffalo to continue graduate work and help with this year’s UB team that fell short in the MAC Semifinals.
Listed at 6’0 and 175 pounds according to BuffaloBulls.com, Mulkey has roughly above-average height for an NFL cornerback, but the release indicates that he’s working to bulk up. For perspective, Justin Rogers and Leodis McKelvin play closer to 180 pounds, while Drayton Florence and Terrence McGee play at roughly 200 pounds.
Niagara University’s Tyrone Lewis was invited to work out for several NFL teams before the draft two years ago, while Canisius’ Robert Goldsberry considered walking on with the Michigan Wolverines’ football team. Neither player is currently in the NFL, however.
Follow @UBSportsinfo on Twitter for updates on Mulkey’s progress in the rookie mini-camp.