John Sullivan (center)

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John Sullivan
refer to caption
Sullivan with the Minnesota Vikings
No. 56 Washington Redskins
Position: Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-08-08) August 8, 1985 (age 31)
Place of birth: Mount Kisco, New York
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school: Greenwich (CT)
College: Notre Dame
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 6 / Pick: 187
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
Games played: 122
Games started: 94
Player stats at

John Sullivan (born August 8, 1985) is an American football center for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). Sullivan played college football for the University of Notre Dame. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Sullivan was born in Mount Kisco, New York, but grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. He attended Greenwich High School in Greenwich, the same high school that produced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young. There, Sullivan was a Parade and SuperPrep All-American, as well as USA Today and second-team prep All-American. He was also named Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut.[1] He was a starter at center during the final three seasons, but also played as a defensive tackle on defense. He was named offensive MVP by the Connecticut Post. In 2002, he helped lead his team to a 12-1-1 mark, including a league title and a spot in Connecticut Class LL title game; for the season, he collected 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks on defense. He was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.[2]

In addition to football, Sullivan achieved a 138-6 record as a heavyweight wrestler, winning the state championship as a sophomore, junior and senior. In 2002, he finished second in the Heavyweight Division of the New England High School Wrestling Championships. In 2003, he placed seventh and earned All-America honors at the national wrestling meet. He was also a standout water polo player and also played rugby.

He was regarded as a four-star recruit by He was rated 61st on the ESPN list of the nation's top 100 prep players, and was also rated number-14 among offensive linemen nationally by He chose Notre Dame over scholarship offers from Miami, Boston College and Michigan, among others.[3]

College career[edit]

Sullivan received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team from 2004 to 2007.

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 3½ in 301 lb 5.35 s 1.80 s 3.03 s 4.55 s 7.62 s 30 in 8 ft 7 in 21 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[4]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Sullivan went into the 2008 NFL Draft as a fifth-year senior. Although his physical attributes were less than many in his position, he was rated as the fourth-best center in the draft, projected to be picked in the third or fourth round.[5][6] The first four rounds passed with fellow centers Mike Pollak, Cody Wallace and Kory Lichtensteiger all selected ahead of Sullivan. He was eventually selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 21st pick of the sixth round (187th overall).[7]

After spending a year as backup to starting center Matt Birk, Sullivan was promoted to the starting position after Birk joined the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent in 2009. That year, he started every game as the Vikings and their new quarterback Brett Favre improved their offensive ranking to No. 5 in the league (No. 8 in passing). The following year, he struggled with a calf injury and missed back-to-back games away to the New York Jets and at home to the Dallas Cowboys, with Ryan Cook and Jon Cooper respectively filling in. He missed one more game in 2011, a Week 7 matchup against the Green Bay Packers in which Joe Berger took his place. As a reward for his efforts, Sullivan was given a five-year, $25 million contract extension by the Vikings on December 17, 2011.[8]

The following season, he anchored the Vikings' offensive line as they provided the platform for RB Adrian Peterson to reach 2,097 rushing yards for the season, eight yards short of the single-season record held by Eric Dickerson. His performances throughout the season saw him named in the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Pro team;[9] nevertheless, he missed the cut for the Pro Bowl, the center spot going to Max Unger of the Seattle Seahawks. Following the Vikings' elimination from the playoffs, Sullivan underwent surgery on microfractures in his left knee, expected to keep him sidelined for most of the offseason.[10]

On August 30, 2016, Sullivan was released by the Vikings.[11]

Washington Redskins[edit]

On September 27, 2016, Sullivan signed with the Washington Redskins.[12]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "John Sullivan-Notre Dame C-2008 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Pedulla, Tom (April 17, 2008). "Draft Gems: Does Notre Dame's Sullivan have Irish luck?". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ "John Sullivan". NFL Draft Scout. The Sports Xchange. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ "John Sullivan Drafted By Minnesota Vikings In Sixth Round". CBS Interactive. April 27, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Vikes sign John Sullivan to 5-year deal". ESPN Internet Ventures. December 18, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Arkush, Dan (January 10, 2013). "PFW/PFWA 2012 All-NFL team". Pro Football Weekly. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ Berreman, Brad (February 7, 2013). "Minnesota Vikings Center John Sullivan Undergoes Microfracture Surgery". RantSports. Rant Media Network. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Vikings Release John Sullivan, Announce Other Roster Moves". 
  12. ^ Czarda, Stephen. "Redskins Sign John Sullivan, Vinston Painter To Active Roster". Retrieved September 27, 2016. 

External links[edit]