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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

With a Bullitt

 
 

On the surface, Texas A&M safety Melvin Bullitt seems like a laid back guy with a knack for talking. But underneath that suave persona lies a man determined to see the A&M defense back in the national spotlight.
Bullitt has had to deal with many hardships, from coaching changes, to shuffles in the secondary depth chart. However, Bullitt has remained confident that this year’s secondary can have a breakout season.
“With rebuilding and getting some new people in here, we’ve got new energy coming. I think we’re going to be right in the thick of things with the better teams in the country as far as pass defense, rush defense, total defense altogether. We’re going to make that certain that the Wrecking Crew will be back.”
Bullitt, a senior agricultural development major, is the son of former A&M standout Jerry Bullitt, Class of 1983, who played with the Washington Redskins for three years and helped shape the Wrecking Crew. For his final year, Melvin Bullitt chose to switch from number 18 to 33, the number his father wore while playing at A&M.
“That’s the number my dad wore when he played here,” Bullitt said. “I thought this would be the best time for me to go on and make that change during my senior year. It’s honoring my father by wearing his jersey number.”
With a father who played professional football, there are undoubtedly pressures for Bullitt to follow in those footsteps. But Bullitt says the only thing that matters now is helping A&M win, and the rest will take care of itself.
Looking ahead to next season, Bullitt knows that changing the number on the back of his jersey won’t change the fact that A&M had the worst pass defense in the nation last season. And with safety Jaxson Appel out of college eligibility, Bullitt knows that all eyes will be on him to lead the young Aggie secondary.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys stepping up this year in Devin Gregg and Alton Dixon and Chevar Bryson. It’s not really difficult with those guys because they are quick learners and they like to listen and do well, and that’s what we need in our secondary. So I think we’ll be alright with the guys that are young and old, because all the guys we have now are real good learners and are doing good in practice.”
Along with the young defensive backs, Bullitt and the A&M defense will have to adjust to an unfamiliar scheme. New defensive coordinator Gary Darnell has switched A&M’s formation to a 4-2-5, which means there will be four linemen, two linebackers, three safeties and two corners.
“It’s putting a lot more speed on the field,” Bullitt said. “You’ve got to have some physical safeties for this defense, and that’s one thing we’re really focusing in this spring when we’re finding guys that want to play. This defense kind of keeps everything in front of you so we can react on the ball better, so I think it’ll be a good fit for the guys on the team.”
And so far in spring practice, the defense has had a fairly easy time adjusting to the new concept.
“We’re getting to the ball better now, we’re catching balls that are in the air, making interceptions, breaking up passes,” Bullitt said. “I think we’re going to be a solid defensive team this year and we won’t have to depend on the offense as much to score points. I think that is going to be real good for our record this season.”
For next year, Bullitt wants A&M football to compete for the Big 12 Championship, go to a Bowl Championship Series bowl and protect Kyle Field and the home field advantage.
For someone expected to play in the NFL, his personal aspirations are rather humble.
“Right now (going pro) is not really a concern for me. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I had a good time while I was here. My personal goal is just to do anything I can to help the team win, that’s all I want to do.”

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