By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-After a stellar collegiate career, former Garden City Community College defensive lineman Jeremy Faulk is getting his chance in the National Football League. His agent confirmed on Monday that Faulk will be in a rookie mini-camp with the New York Jets.
Faulk, who went undrafted on Saturday, is eligible to sign with New York as an undrafted free agent.
"Jeremy has worked extremely hard," Garden City Head Coach Jeff Sims said. "As long as he keeps grinding, Jeremy will end up somewhere."
Faulk's journey to the NFL took many twists and turns. In 2015, Faulk landed in Western Kansas after a brief stint at Florida Atlantic under Carl Pelini. Sims was the assistant.
"Jeremy has come a long way since then," Sims said. "It's night and day."
Despite playing on a 3-8 team, Faulk excelled, registering 87 tackles and 7.5 sacks while being named the National Player of the Year by the NJCAA.
In December, 2015, Faulk left Garden City for Baylor. But a regime change coupled with some off-the-field questions forced Faulk out. The NJCAA All-American was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation and was awarded his scholarship back.
Instead of going back to Waco, Faulk returned to Garden City. And boy was it a welcome site.
Faulk led a resurgent defense and helped curate one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in the history of the NJCAA. He helped guide the Broncbusters to an 11-0 record and the program's first national championship, garnering defensive most valuable player honors in the title game vs. No. 2 Arizona Western.
"I've been around a lot of good defensive players," Sims said. "But that guy (Faulk) was un blockable. It was unbelievable to watch. Even at Baylor, the guy was un blockable."
Faulk's opportunity comes with a franchise who is coming off a 5-11 season under second-year Head Coach Todd Bowles. However, New York's 3-4 scheme is right in Faulk's wheelhouse.
Despite failing to make the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, the Jets have boasted one of the league's top defenses during that time. The main catalyst: their defensive line. With stalwarts Leonard Williams, a first-round draft pick back in 2015 out of Southern California, and former first-rounder Muhammad Wilkerson anchoring their front three, New York has one of the most talented lines in the league. Their question mark has always been depth, and Faulk definitely fits the mold.
"Do I think Jeremy Faulk can play in the NFL? Without question," Sims said. "It has to be the right situation. The Jets are a team that's brought in a lot of undrafted defensive lineman. This will be a good test for him."
One thing is for certain: don't ever underestimate Faulk, who during Garden City's title run in 2016, had a game where he recorded 18 tackles vs. No. 6 Hutchinson from his nose guard position.
"He's (Faulk) the nose guard," Sims said while laughing following his team's victory over the Blue Dragons. "What that guy just did is incredible."
Jets rookie camp begins on Friday, May 5.