Calculated decisions: Junior quarterback excels on field, in classroom

Owen Gibbs

Football is a calculated sport. Anticipation and planning paired with the mathematics of velocity and angles require players to think quickly. Junior quarterback Nico Bulhoff possesses traits of a great quarterback and excels on the field and in the classroom.

“I like to play the quarterback position because it’s a mind-intensive position,” Nico said. “My favorite thing about football is the dynamics of the game because there are a lot of people on the field at one time and it’s very active. During the game, I know I have a job to do on the field as a leader.”

Football coach Bret Page recognizes Nico’s ability to create plays and lead the team. 

“Nico is an intelligent player who studies the game and has a good plan for what’s gonna happen before the snap starts,” Page said. “As a quarterback, he has to have a good idea of not only what he’s doing, but what everybody else is doing too.”

Quick mental calculations strengthen Nico’s reaction time when on the field. 

“When somebody’s intelligent on the field, it allows them to play a little bit faster,” Page said. “It also helps them have a good idea of what’s going to happen before the ball is snapped.”

Coaches recognize Nico’s demeanor as an asset for the team. 

“Nico has a quiet strength about him,” Page said. “He has an even keel and doesn’t have a lot of highs and lows as far as emotions go, but whatever happens he’s ready to do his job and move on to the next play.”

While Nico excels at the mental aspects of the game, he is also a great physical player.

“Nico has deceptive speed,” Page said. “He doesn’t look like he’s moving fast until he runs by you, which helps when he runs the ball or scrambles to get out of the pocket.”

Nico is versatile as a player, also taking the field as punter and placekicker.

“I like punting and field goal kicking because I’ve played soccer since I was three,” Nico said. “Soccer has really helped with my kicking.”

Although football is a fun sport, it can also be time consuming, which can be difficult to manage as Nico is also enrolled in Math 251 at Texas A&M.

“Football is a big obligation and takes up a large chunk of my day,” Nico said. “I try to do all my academic stuff as soon as possible in order to get it all done so I don’t have as much to do for homework.”

Balancing academics and athletics allows Nico to push himself both mentally and physically. 

“Calculus is an extension of math and I like math,” Nico said. “I like both football and math because I can express different sides of myself that wouldn’t be seen if I only focused on one.”