Jared Mullins is the latest Tazewell Football product to announce their college decision and the Bulldog defensive back will be taking his talent to Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia to play for the Eagles and Head Coach Scott Lemn.
“I chose Bridgewater because it felt like home,” said Mullins. “The coaches really made an effort to connect with me, and I got to meet some of the players and form an early bond. It felt like the right place for me to be successful and receive a good education.”
Before making his decision, he visited Emory & Henry College and Concord University. He also had an offer to play in the College Sprint Football League at Quincy University. Quincy University is located in Quincy, Illinois.
According to their website sprintfootball.com, Sprint Football is a full-contact, intercollegiate, varsity sport and has the same rules as regular college football, except that all players must weigh 178.0 pounds or less. The league has been in existence since prior to World War II.
Mullins was a three-year varsity football starter for the Bulldogs. He was named to the All-Region 2D first team as a defensive back during his junior year and an All-Southwest District first team defensive back in his senior year. Mullins also competed in soccer and indoor track for Tazewell High School.
“Very seldom does a true student athlete come through a program with the qualities that Jared possesses.,” said Bulldogs Defensive Coordinator Brandon McDaniel. “He has an unbelievable ability to adapt and learn, which makes the coaching process a pure enjoyment. Jared is the type of kid that you want your children to grow up and be like, both on and off the field. He will be truly missed because of the amazing impression that he left on the program, the community, and his school.”
This year, Mullins received the highest team honor when he was named the Steve Mitchem Bullet Club Award Winner. The award is named after Tazewell Hall of Famer, Steve Mitchem. Mitchem is one of the most decorated players to ever play football at Tazewell High School. After graduating from Tazewell High School, Mitchem lettered in football for four years at Virginia Tech. Previous winners of the award included Jared’s older brother Mason Mullins. Other winners were Derrick Young, Hunter O’Quinn, Josh Herndon, Cameron Taylor, and Chancellor Harris.
“It’s my favorite award I’ve ever received and it will always hold a special place in my heart,” Mullins said about winning the award. “I had him as a coach for one year in middle school and he told me to never give up and chase my dream. He epitomized how a safety should play the game, and I tried my best to make him proud.”
During his career, Mullins helped the Bulldogs to three straight playoff appearances. He led Tazewell in total tackles this season with 102 stops. He finished with 48 solo tackles, to go along with 5 tackles for loss. He also had an interception and a fumble recovery. Mullins concluded his Tazewell career with 228 tackles. This season, he caught 60 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown.
“He is the ultimate team player. Jared has set the bar high for all of the student athletes who come to Tazewell High School and want to be successful in the classroom and on the field,” Head Football Coach J’me Harris said. “I am very proud of him and look forward to seeing him on the field for Bridgewater.”
Jared’s twin brother Jacob was also a member of the Tazewell football team this season. In 2021, Jacob led the Tazewell defense with two touchdowns. He returned an interception for a touchdown against Graham and recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown against Riverheads. Before suffering an injury, their younger brother Reece, a freshman, started several games at linebacker for the Bulldogs this season.
“Jared signing with Bridgewater completes his goal he set four years ago,” said his father Danny Mullins. “To be able to further his academics and the opportunity to play football at the next level is rewarding to watch for his mother and myself. We are very proud of his accomplishments and look forward to watching him bring Southwest Virginia football to the Shenandoah Valley.”
While at Tazewell High School, Mullins has been a member of the DECA program for four years and was President of the Tazewell DECA chapter for two of those years. He competed at the DECA State competition three times.
“Jared has been an enormous asset to our DECA program over the past four years,” said DECA Advisor Gretchen Cline. “He has served in many leadership roles; most recently, he served as our Tazewell DECA Chapter President for the past two years. Over the years, he has excelled in the classroom and at District and State competitions. His influence upon the younger students and future enrollments have been paramount. He will be greatly missed by so many. We wish him all the best at Bridgewater.”
Mullins is an honor student and Tazewell High School class President. He plans to major in Business while attending Bridgewater.
Bridgewater College competes in the NCAA Division III Division and is a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.