By Jay Skurski
Byron Mulkey’s keeping his eggs in a couple different baskets, as he says.
The 24-year-old former Niagara-Wheatfield and University at Buffalo basketball star has not stopped chasing after his dream of playing cornerback in the NFL, but has also kept his sights set on what he’ll do if that doesn’t come to fruition.
Mulkey, who’s in town participating on a tryout basis this week at the Buffalo Bills’ voluntary minicamp, relocated last summer to Atlanta.
There, he’s on the job hunt, looking for something in the field of athletic administration. He’s also working out on his own, and working as an academic mentor at Georgia State. Mulkey earned a master’s degree from UB in higher education.
"It's been a lot," he said today after practice. "The area's great, though, and having family down there (a brother), it's a lot of help with the transition. Whatever comes my way, I’m just trying to stay ready for whatever happens."
Mulkey, who’s listed at 5-foot-11, 186 pounds, participated last year in the Bills' rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. While he got positive feedback, he wasn't offered a contract.
"They liked the effort. They saw some things that they could developed, and they relayed that to me," he said. "But it's a business, and it's a numbers game. They told me to stay in shape and if something happens we’ll give you a call. That’s what I did. They called me probably about a month back and invited me for another tryout here at this camp. I’ll all for it. I’m just excited to be here.
"I’m extremely fortunate to get another chance to get back out here. We’ll see what happens."
At 24, Mulkey knows he won’t have too many more of these opportunities.
"The window continues to get smaller and smaller as time goes on, so while I still can do it, I'm trying to give it a shot," he said. "I'm doing all I can as far as giving the effort, so I can hopefully have a full-time job by the time I leave here in the next couple weeks."