Homegrown: An Interview with Randy Bullock
I received the call from the Texans’ General Manager, Rick Smith. He welcomed me to the Houston Texans organization… then I had the opportunity to speak with Coach Kubiak and Coach Marciano. I was so excited my whole body was shaking. I was in disbelief that I was going to have the opportunity to start my NFL career in my hometown.
-Randy Bullock, Houston Texans, Kicker, Texas A&M University
By all accounts, Randy Bullock did not have the easiest road to the NFL. First of all, although the most talented kicker available in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was still a kicker. Even Bullock acknowledges he was unsure if he would be drafted by anyone – least of all his hometown team, the Houston Texans. Secondly, growing up, Bullock lost his father, his mentor, the man who taught him how to kick a football, to a heart attack at the age of 14 in 2003. Before his Lou Groza award winning, record-breaking 2011 season began, he dedicated the season to his late father.
In 2011, Bullock simply went out and led the nation in field goals, connecting on 87.9% of his attempts (29 of 33,) was the NCAA leader in FGs at 2.23 per game and kicked 55 straight extra points his senior year. He was a consensus first-team All-American on the year (Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sporting News, SportsIllustrated.com, CBSSports.com, Pro Football Weekly, CollegeSportsMadness.com.) Bullock racked up 142 points in 2011, breaking a Texas A&M single-season scoring record that stood since 1927 and finishes his TAMU career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 365 career points on 176 extra points and 62 made field goals.
Simply put: Randy Bullock is a field goal specialist. While his hangtime on kickoffs is impressive as well, he could likely use some development regarding driving his kickoffs through the opposition’s endzone. His stats show he is clutch, has an adequate leg and is consistent. His words show he is motivated, unassuming and gracious. If Bullock can transition these qualities to the NFL, the Houston Texans may have found an answer at a position responsible for putting points on the board each and every game, possibly for years to come. Bullock comes home to play for his Houston Texans, whom he has been following since the inaugural 2002 season. Prior to that, he was cheering on the Oilers. He is Houstonian through and through and thrilled to have the opportunity to play for his favorite NFL team.
First and foremost, congratulations on being drafted by your hometown team, the Houston Texans. What first went through your mind when your name was called on draft day?
It was the happiest moment of my life. It was such an awesome feeling to see my name pop up on the TV screen while watching the draft with my family and friends. Everyone was extremely excited for me.
Did you have any idea prior to the draft that you would get selected?
I knew there was a good chance that I would be drafted, but you never know for kickers. I had an idea that the Texans were strongly considering picking me up in the draft, but nothing had been promised to me. I had spoken with Special Teams Coach Joe Marciano several times before the draft. I knew he liked me a lot as a player and person. I couldn’t be happier with the way everything turned out for me.
My time at Texas A&M has been the best four years of my life. I love everything about this school. It’s a very special place. I’m very thankful to have been able to not only play football here, but also pursue my degree in petroleum engineering here. It will tough for me to leave College Station when the time comes but I will always be an Aggie.
What was your road like getting to Texas A&M, how were you recruited to play for the Aggies?
My recruiting process was a little bit different compared to most positions. Schools don’t scholarship a kicker every year like they do for other positions. I had scholarship offers from Texas A&M, Rice, TCU, Tulsa, Texas Tech and San Diego State. The scholarship offer I received from Texas A&M didn’t start until December of my freshman year, but Texas A&M was the school I had always wanted to attend. I grew up an Aggie fan so when the opportunity was given to me I couldn’t pass it up.
How did former A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman and the rest of the A&M coaching staff prepare you for the next level?
I can’t thank Coach Sherman and his staff enough for everything they have done for me during my time at A&M. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my teammates and coaches. They held me to very high standards, which helped me evolve into the player I am today.
You dedicated your 2011 Lou Groza award-winning season to your late father. Tell us how he inspired you.
It meant the world to me close out my career the way I did after dedicating my senior year to my father. My father was a very special person who taught me so many characteristics of what it takes to be successful both on and off the football field. He would be so excited for my opportunity with the Houston Texans.
What did your record breaking 2011 season and overall career at A&M mean to you?
I am honored to be able to say that I played for Texas A&M. It’s very rewarding to see that my hard work paid off, but it was never about the records for me. I wouldn’t have been able to have the successful career I had without the support of my family, my coaches, and my teammates.
When you got the call from the Texans that they were going to draft you 161st overall, who called you and how did you feel upon receiving that call?
I received the call from the Texans General Manager, Rick Smith. He welcomed me to the Houston Texans organization. After speaking him for a few minutes, I had the opportunity to speak with Coach Kubiak and Coach Marciano. I was so excited my whole body was shaking. I was in disbelief that I was going to have the opportunity to start my NFL career in my hometown.
How do you stay so clutch in pressure situations?
I’m very confident in my abilities. I work hard to prepare myself in the off-season and every week during the season. I never walk on to the field with the thought that I may miss. I am able to control my emotions regardless of the situation.
What is your on field strength and are there any areas upon which you feel you can improve?
My biggest strength on the field is my leg strength. I am looking forward to helping the Texans win the field position battle next season on special teams. I’m always looking for ways to continue to improve as a player. I’m never satisfied. I’m looking forward to working with Coach Marciano.
The fans want to know: tell us one thing that makes Randy Bullock tick.
My family is what makes me tick. I am very grateful to have my mom and my brother, Rhett, in my life. They have been my biggest fans and supporters since the beginning of my football career.
Bullock’s pre-draft humility and thoughts on why he’s NFL ready.
Bullock’s interview after winning Lou Groza award. Don’t know about y’all but at 1:30 when the crowd starts shouting “Randy, Randy, Randy,” it’s chill-inducing. This kicker is a Texan now and hopefully for years to come.
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