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John Sullivan (born August 8, 1985) is an American football center who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Notre Dame and was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Washington Redskins.

John Sullivan
refer to caption
Sullivan with the Rams in 2018
Free agent
Position:Center
Personal information
Born: (1985-08-08) August 8, 1985 (age 33)
Mount Kisco, New York
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:312 lb (142 kg)
Career information
High school:Greenwich
(Greenwich, Connecticut)
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:2008 / Round: 6 / Pick: 187
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Games played:153
Games started:125
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Sullivan was born in Mount Kisco, New York, but grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. He attended Greenwich High School in Greenwich, the same high school that produced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young. There, Sullivan was a Parade and SuperPrep All-American, as well as USA Today and ESPN.com second-team prep All-American. He was also named Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut.[1] Sullivan was originally an Offensive Tackle as a freshman at Greenwich High School but was then converted to center after the starting center came down with the flu. He was a starter at center during the final three seasons, but also played as a defensive tackle on defense. He was named offensive MVP by the Connecticut Post. In 2002, he helped lead his team to a 12-1-1 mark, including a league title and a spot in Connecticut Class LL title game; for the season, he collected 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks on defense. He was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.[2]

In addition to football, Sullivan achieved a 138-6 record as a heavyweight wrestler, winning the state championship as a sophomore, junior and senior. In 2002, he finished second in the Heavyweight Division of the New England High School Wrestling Championships. In 2003, he placed seventh and earned All-America honors at the national wrestling meet. He was also a standout water polo player and also played rugby.

He was regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com. He was rated 61st on the ESPN list of the nation's top 100 prep players, and was also rated number-14 among offensive linemen nationally by CBSSports.com. He chose Notre Dame over scholarship offers from Miami, Boston College and Michigan, among others.[3]

College careerEdit

Sullivan received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team from 2004 to 2007.

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 3 12 in
(1.92 m)
301 lb
(137 kg)
5.35 s 1.80 s 3.03 s 4.55 s 7.62 s 30 in
(0.76 m)
8 ft 7 in
(2.62 m)
21 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[4]

Minnesota VikingsEdit

 
With the Vikings in 2014

Sullivan went into the 2008 NFL Draft as a fifth-year senior. Although his physical attributes were less than many in his position, he was rated as the fourth-best center in the draft, projected to be picked in the third or fourth round.[5][6] The first four rounds passed with fellow centers Mike Pollak, Cody Wallace and Kory Lichtensteiger all selected ahead of Sullivan. He was eventually selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 21st pick of the sixth round (187th overall).[7]

After spending a year as backup to starting center Matt Birk, Sullivan was promoted to the starting position after Birk joined the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent in 2009. That year, he started every game as the Vikings and their new quarterback Brett Favre improved their offensive ranking to No. 5 in the league (No. 8 in passing). The following year, he struggled with a calf injury and missed back-to-back games away to the New York Jets and at home to the Dallas Cowboys, with Ryan Cook and Jon Cooper respectively filling in. He missed one more game in 2011, a Week 7 matchup against the Green Bay Packers in which Joe Berger took his place. As a reward for his efforts, Sullivan was given a five-year, $25 million contract extension by the Vikings on December 17, 2011.[8]

The following season, he anchored the Vikings' offensive line as they provided the platform for RB Adrian Peterson to reach 2,097 rushing yards for the season, eight yards short of the single-season record held by Eric Dickerson. His performances throughout the season saw him named in the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Pro team;[9] nevertheless, he missed the cut for the Pro Bowl, the center spot going to Max Unger of the Seattle Seahawks. Following the Vikings' elimination from the playoffs, Sullivan underwent surgery on microfractures in his left knee, expected to keep him sidelined for most of the offseason.[10]

On August 30, 2016, Sullivan was released by the Vikings.[11]

Washington RedskinsEdit

On September 27, 2016, Sullivan signed with the Washington Redskins.[12]

Los Angeles RamsEdit

On April 5, 2017, Sullivan signed with the Los Angeles Rams.[13] He started 15 games at center for the Rams in 2017.

On March 16, 2018, Sullivan signed a two-year contract with the Rams.[14] In 2018, Sullivan started all 16 games and helped the Rams reach Super Bowl LIII after they defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game. The Rams lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

On March 5, 2019, the Rams declined the option on Sullivan's contract making him an unrestricted free agent.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.gatorade.com/poy/winners.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.und.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/john_sullivan_50934.html
  3. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-John-Sullivan-8750
  4. ^ "John Sullivan-Notre Dame C-2008 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Pedulla, Tom (April 17, 2008). "Draft Gems: Does Notre Dame's Sullivan have Irish luck?". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  6. ^ "John Sullivan". NFL Draft Scout. The Sports Xchange. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  7. ^ "John Sullivan Drafted By Minnesota Vikings In Sixth Round". UND.com. CBS Interactive. April 27, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  8. ^ "Vikes sign John Sullivan to 5-year deal". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. December 18, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  9. ^ Arkush, Dan (January 10, 2013). "PFW/PFWA 2012 All-NFL team". ProFootballWeekly.com. Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  10. ^ Berreman, Brad (February 7, 2013). "Minnesota Vikings Center John Sullivan Undergoes Microfracture Surgery". RantSports. Rant Media Network. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "Vikings Release John Sullivan, Announce Other Roster Moves". Vikings.com. August 30, 2016.
  12. ^ Czarda, Stephen. "Redskins Sign John Sullivan, Vinston Painter To Active Roster". Redskins.com. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Simmons, Myles (April 5, 2017). "Rams Agree to Terms with C John Sullivan". TheRams.com.
  14. ^ Simmons, Myles (March 16, 2018). "Rams, John Sullivan Agree to Terms on Two-Year Deal". TheRams.com.
  15. ^ Alper, Josh (March 5, 2019). "Rams don't pick up John Sullivan's option". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.

External linksEdit