PREP FOOTBALL: Bearcats running back Jayden Sullins commits to Navy

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Cullman running back Jayden Sullins (23). (Joe McElroy for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman High School’s Jayden Sullins has known for a while that he’d get the chance to play football at the next level, but now he knows where he’ll be doing it. The senior running back announced Saturday he has committed to The United States Naval Academy to play for the Midshipmen and Coach Ken Niumatalolo.

After meeting up with the coaches and taking a look at the campus, Sullins knew that Navy was his choice to continue his athletic and academic career.

“It’s beautiful; there’s a lot of history built within it,” Sullins said. “Anywhere you go, you’ll see something that has to do with the history of our country. The athletic facilities compete with the best in the country. It also has amazing scenery sitting right on the bay. I fell in love with it as soon as I stepped on campus. The coaches there are amazing; they are some of the most down-to-earth guys who will make you feel at home. What stood out to me was the brotherhood that they have and how much love they show towards you, not only as a player, but as a person.”

Sullins had some very high praise for former Cullman coaches Mark Britton and Matt Plunkett, and can’t wait to get the 2019 season underway under new head coach Oscar Glasscock.

“Every day is a grind,” Sullins said. “Coming in my freshman year, Coach Britton expected more out of me than a usual freshman and would definitely let me know when I had my freshman moments. He really set me up for the rest of high school football, mentally. Coach Plunkett was one of the most respectful, disciplined coaches I’ve played for. He taught you more than football, but also things to prepare you for life. In my opinion, they are two great coaches. Coach Glasscock is a very smart guy who stands for his word. He’s someone you can trust and knows what’s best for the team and I think that’s huge because we believe he can lead us to great things.”

Sullins is returning as one of the feature players in the Bearcats’ offense after earning an honorable mention as an athlete on last year’s Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) 6A All-State Football Team. Glasscock has seen Sullins’ leadership qualities first-hand in the offseason and is looking forward to having him in the backfield this fall.

“Jayden’s here every time the door is open. He strives to get better and Jayden’s really focused on the team first and that’s what I’m really proud of,” Glasscock said. “He doesn’t let the individual attention that he’s getting distract from his role as a team leader. He’s a leader and if other guys aren’t here, he’ll call them, and he wants the most for his senior year with this team first.”

Sullins has learned a lot from his time at Cullman and will continue to help lead the team in his final season before going to Navy. He had some people to thank for helping him get to this point.

“I’ve learned a lot, but most importantly that if you want something, you have to go get it and work for it,” Sullins said. “Nothing is given to you. I’m looking forward to bettering ourselves. Coach preaches us to do our job and I feel like if we do that, then the rest will take care of itself. I want a great season, but also to build a bond you can’t break. I want to thank my family, my coaches, my teachers at CHS and everyone who has supported and motivated me.”

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