With the 215th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Tommy Bohanon, a fullback out of Wake Forest University. Tommy is a man among men, 6'1" and 246lbs. He can bench press 550lbs (he had 36 reps of 225lbs, best among all offensive players in the draft) and squat 700lbs, giving him an inordinate amount of strength both in his upper and lower body. Although Tommy does not have much of a résumé when it comes to running the ball, in his senior year of college he had twenty-three receptions for 208 yards (9.0 avg) and five touchdowns.
I had a chance to speak to Tommy (who commonly goes by T-Bo), and here is what he had to say:
I spoke to Tommy about his friendship with Brad Idzik, John Idzik's son, who is a wide receiver for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. They're so close that Brad was actually at his draft party, which was spent at a bowling alley with friends and family. Tommy has met Brad's father on several occasions, most notably while John Idzik was with the Seattle Seahawks. According to Tommy, the current General Manager of the Jets scouted the area on behalf of the Seahawks, specifically choosing that area so he could visit his son. While Idzik was making his rounds, he was able to have a few conversations.
Similarly, Tommy is extremely friendly with Josh Bush, the projected starter at free safety for the Jets and last year's sixth-round pick. Their lockers were very close together at Wake Forest, and they would talk every day before practice. Soon after Tommy was drafted, Josh was one of the first people to call and offer any assistance that Tommy needed.
I spoke with Tommy about his contact with the Jets prior to being drafted, and he noted that at the 2013 NFL Combine, one of the scouts for the team was essentially his chaperone and was with him at all times. At the Senior Bowl, Tommy had a chance to speak to several of the team's scouts and other personnel staff. Between his personal contact with the Idzik family, his Pro Day (which the team attended), the Combine and the Senior Bowl, Tommy had a significant amount of contact with the Jets.
As a result, Tommy felt that he would get selected at some point in the draft. The process, however, was still stressful as he tried to figure out which team would pick him up. Tommy was hoping to go to the Jets, because he thought he would fit in so well. Tommy really likes the look of Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast Offense and thinks he will flourish in it because of his versatility. As he stated, he can block, run if necessary, and catch out of the backfield. The offense plays into Tommy's strengths and allows him to help the team more.
In fact, Mornhinweg historically loves versatile fullbacks, especially ones that are as natural a pass-catcher as Tommy is. The reason for this is that Mornhinweg believes they make excellent checkdowns as they're easy for a defense to forget about. In 2001, for example, Mornhinweg coached FB Cory Schlesinger, who had 60 receptions for 466 yards, the second most receptions on the team to WR Johnnie Morton.
The moral of the story here is that Tommy Bohanon is a well-rounded, high-character player who fits into the offensive philosophy of the New York Jets exceedingly well. Who knows if Tommy will succeed? Boh Knows.