by Justin Dewitt
It’s rare that players from smaller collegiate conferences get the opportunity to become major contributors in the pros, however, Georgia State’s All-Conference defensive back Chandon Sullivan has earned the opportunity to prove he can play on the next level.
Sullivan became the first defensive player to be invited to the NFL Combine in Georgia State history and only the third former Panther to accept an invite to the combine. By accepting his invitation, Sullivan joins the exclusive company of Georgia State Alumni such as wide receivers Albert Wilson, of the Kansas City Chiefs and Robert Davis, of the Washington Redskins.
Sullivan was only a two star athlete when he was recruited out of Winder-Barrow High School before becoming a key performer on a Georgia State defense that set the school record for fewest points per game allowed (24.75). Chandon earned a starting position as a freshman, started all four years, and became one of Georgia State’s most decorated players.
In a school-record 49 career games he ranks fifth in school history in career tackles (182). He became the first Panther to score two defensive touchdowns in his career. and he finished as GSU’s career leader with seven interceptions as well as being the was the first Panther to be invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. It’s safe to say Chandon Sullivan has etched his name in Georgia State history.
Yet, even with a historic career in college, questions about Sullivan’s skillset will continue to arise due to the perceived lower level of competition in the Sun Belt Conference.
In today’s NFL we are starting to see teams take chances on talented players from smaller schools and some have become extremely successful. Players like Carson Wentz, quarterback of Philadelphia Eagles, was highly doubted coming out of North Dakota State University and he struggled his first season.
Everybody wrote him off as overrated but he continued to show he could compete and before he tore his ACL this season he was favored for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Also, standout rookies such as the Chicago Bears’ Tarik Cohen from North Carolina A&T and Kansas City Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt from Toledo proved that small school talent can become essential to a Sunday afternoon gameplan.
Can Chandon Sullivan be the next diamond in the rough of the NFL? Anybody that has played against him or with him believes he has all the variables to be a pro. He’s a leader, he has high character, high work ethic and is extremely coachable. Along with his skills on the field, Sullivan has an outstanding IQ both on and off the field. Sullivan was a Three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District. With a strong showing at the combine this year he could be the highest drafted player ever from GSU.
This year’s NFL combine will be at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis,Indiana from March 2-5, and the defensive backs are scheduled to work out on Monday, March 5. Before the combine Chandon Sullivan will get another chance to impress NFL scouts in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The game will be televised on NFL Network at 2:30 p.m. ET.