Purnell Swett linebacker to don Black and Gold
By Brad Crawford
Assistant Sports Editor
It’s now official. Justin Bullard is a Brave.
Local Purnell Swett High football fans finally got the news they had been waiting for Feb. 6 when Rams’ defensive star Justin Bullard, decided to continue his football career collegiately at UNCP.
The 6-foot-2 senior linebacker helped Swett to a 10-4 record last season, including two playoff victories in Pembroke against South Caldwell and Asheville-Reynolds.
The Rams’ two playoff victories were their first postseason wins in 17 seasons dating back to 1990.
Bullard was named to the Two Rivers 4-A All-Conference First Team on defense and was also awarded with All-Region Second Team honors, alongside teammate Joshuan Jacobs.
Bullard recorded eight sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception his senior campaign, including 19 tackles in a single game.
The Rams linebacker also spent time at tight end for Swett, catching 16 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns as he became a reliable target throughout the season on third down.
“He played both ways as linebacker and tight end, but will be a linebacker here. He was an All- Region defense and All-County player,” said UNCP defensive coordinator Shane Richardson.
“He had offers from some other schools. He liked UNCP because he has opportunity to have an impact right away,” Richardson said.
“I would expect that he will come in to where he has a good chance to compete for a starting position, as well as chipping in on special teams and helping out in some of those areas,” he added.