Georgia DB Javon Bullard signs NIL deal inspired by controversial hit against OSU
Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard had a fantastic postseason for the Bulldogs during their second consecutive national title run, earning Defensive MVP in both the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the College Football Playoff championship game. Against TCU in the title game, Bullard forced three turnovers as the Dawgs won 65-7.
But no play was bigger than his crushing hit against Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. in the back of the end zone to break up what could have been a touchdown, pending the ref’s decision whether or not to call illegal touching had it been caught. Bullard’s hit was initially ruled targeting, but the call was overturned and allowed Georgia to stay close enough to pull off the victory.
Controversial or not, that hit may have saved UGA’s season. And Bullard is capitalizing on it, signing another NIL deal inspired by the play. This time it’s with Alumni Cookie Dough, an Athens, Georgia, cookie dough shop which introduced a new flavor called “Bullard’s Buckeye Crunch.” The flavor consists of chocolate cookie dough with peanut butter candies and Oreos.
It was a controversial hit and both sides will likely forever argue the final verdict. Ohio State coach Ryan Day disclosed that Harrison Jr. was knocked unconscious on the hit and was evaluated for a concussion.
“I made a lot of calls after the game,” Buckeyes’ coach Day said regarding the hit. “I felt like it was targeting. In the moment, when things are moving very fast and you can’t see the replay, it’s very hard to see. The hard thing for me is to see and understand that and have our medical staff let us know that he was knocked unconscious and that’s why we’re not going to let him back in the game, yet the flag gets picked up for targeting.”
Here’s a look at the hit:
Javon Bullard was not called for targeting after this hit on Marvin Harrison Jr. pic.twitter.com/COkUtGi6X1
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 1, 2023
This not the first time Bullard has cashed in on the hit. In February, Georgia-based memorabilia company “More Than Sports” sold a “hand-signed photo” of Bullard’s hit with the inscription “Night Night.” Copies of the photo were selling for $129.99.
The use of the phrase “Night Night,” which was undeniably a bad idea, caught Harrison’s eye:
“Night Night” lol bet https://t.co/a1Qyg1Sl6R
— Marvin Harrison Jr. (@MarvHarrisonJr) February 8, 2023
Nick Radosta, the CEO “More Than Sports,” went on to release a statement in which he apologized to Harrison Jr.
“What was intended to memorialize a big play in the Georgia Bulldogs national championship run was taken too far,” Radosta wrote. “As football fans, we celebrate big hits and aggressive plays on the field, but we do not celebrate the injury of a player. Though it was deemed to be a legal hit by officials, and confirmed by Mr. Harrison himself, he was injured on that play. Therefore, the inscription accompanying the photograph was insensitive and inappropriate.”
The listing was removed and proceeds from the photo will be directed to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Radosta said.
Bullard hails from Milledgeville, Georgia, a town located in Baldwin County. Bullard was celebrated by his hometown with a parade and a key to the city on March 11, which is now called “Javon Bullard Day.”
Watch below, via WMAZ:
Bullard returns to Georgia for his junior season and is considered to be one of the best returning defensive backs in the nation for next season.
Pro Football Focus named Bullard as the No. 7 returning cornerback in the nation for next season, the only slot corner to make the list.