Bullock started his career with Nebraska as a walk-on, but he earned a scholarship this year from new head coach Matt Rhule. The Nebraska native is a Creighton Prep product, and was a fan of Nebraska for his entire life. In an article on NebraskaRivals, Bullock outlines how much it means to him to play for the Huskers.
“It means the world to me,” Bullock said of Rhule putting him on scholarship. “I’ve been working for this day ever since I got here. It was awesome to be able to share that with my teammates, and I’m very appreciative of Coach Rhule for that. … Growing up as a Nebraska kid, that was my team. That’s all I watched. It means the world. It was my dream to play here. I don’t take it for granted at all. It’s a dream come true for me.”
Rhule and the rest of the team recognized Bullock’s potential before the season. Bullock earned his single-digit number through a process wherein his teammates vote on the program’s toughest players. The former walk-on had a career year, and he took to social media to announce the use of his COVID year Thursday.
— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) December 15, 2023
Bullock redshirted his freshman year in 2019 after the only offers he received out of high school were from the Augustana Vikings and Lindenwood Lions. He found his way onto the field to help with special teams before carving out a role for himself in the 2023 season.
Matt Rhule, Tony White and the Nebraska Cornhuskers utilized Bullock better than anyone before them
Before contributing significantly during the 2023 season, Bullock only had six tackles as a Husker. Even though Bullock’s been a member of the team for five years, he only recorded stats starting in 2021.
Bullock found himself in a solid contributing role this year within defensive coordinator Tony White’s 3-3-5 defense. Bullock accrued 50 tackles throughout the course of the season, with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble to boot.
The mid-November game against the Maryland Terrapins was the only game this season in which Bullock did not record multiple tackles. Half of the games this year saw Bullock post five or more tackles in a season that saw him play in all 12 games.
Bullock was a key contributor to the best Nebraska Cornhusker defense since joining the Big Ten
Bullock and his teammates were responsible for propelling first-year defensive coordinator Tony White to one of the best defenses Nebraska has seen since joining the Big Ten. It was the first Big Ten season in which the Huskers managed to hold opposing offenses to fewer than 20 points per game on under five yards per play.
Tony White’s exceptional performance in his first year earned him many head coaching opportunities this offseason, but Nebraska gave him a pay raise to keep him around. White earned a 60% raise, upping his salary to $1.6 million after interviewing for the San Diego State head coaching job on top of being a candidate for the USC defensive coordinator position.
Bullock was part of a front seven that made Nebraska the seventh best rushing defense in the nation as they allowed just 92.9 yards per game. They were also ranked ninth in yards per play, allowing just 4.62 yards per play this season.
With only one commit from the 2024 recruiting class in Willis McGahee IV, Bullock’s return is a welcome one. The linebacker room has become thin due to the departures of Nick Heinrich (retirement due to injury) and Luke Reimer (eligibility).
Bullock is joined by several other returning veterans in a chance to be a part of the team that is responsible for the Cornhuskers’ turnaround. Those veterans are:
- Ty Robinson (defensive line)
- Nash Hutmacher (defense line)
- Isaac Gifford (safety)
- Ben Scott (offensive line)
- Bryce Benhart (offensive line)
The nationally ranked defense is returning a solid core along with a proven coordinator in White, but their offensive competition will be a little bit better in the 2024 season.