February 20, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
'Slottie Pippen' Alabama wide receiver Richard Mullaney making bid for NFL
Alabama wide receiver Richard Mullaney earned a cool nickname after establishing himself with the Crimson Tide as a slick-handed target in the slot for the national champions. The Oregon State transfer became known as "Slottie Pippen," as in former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen. "That was a nickname I earned this year," Mullaney said. "I saw it on Twitter and heard about it a lot from my teammates. It's pretty cool, I guess." After catching 38 passes for 390 yards and five touchdowns in his lone season at Alabama after transferring from Oregon State, Mullaney is making a push for a spot in the NFL. The 6-3, 208-pound native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., is training on campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to prepare for the draft. "I feel like I bring a kind of leadership presence from bouncing around and coming into Alabama," Mullaney said. "I stepped in this year and was definitely a big presence. It was really cool to have the young guys really pick my brain and teach them stuff and always be a guy who's reliable and can run all the routes in the route tree and be in the right place at the right time for my quarterback." Twenty-five of his receptions generated a first down or a touchdown. He was also productive on special teams. "It was really kind of a perfect situation," Mullaney said. "Everything fell into place. I couldn't be more blessed. I'm happy with everything. Obviously, winning a national championship topped everything off. I had an awesome year. I can't thank Alabama enough for how much they've helped me." Represented by veteran agent Noel LaMontagne of Eastern Athletic Services, Mullaney is looking forward to his Pro Day. "I just want to show them my athletic ability and the speed that I have," Mullaney said. "I want them to see me run and get in and out of my cuts and show them I'm not just a possession guy. I bring a lot more than that to the table." Mullaney said he learned a ton from Alabama coach Nick Saban this past year. Majoring in human development and family sciences, Mullaney is now finishing up a master's degree in human environmental sciences. "When I'm done playing, I'd love to coach," Mullaney said. "Having the coaches I've been blessed to have and how much impact they've had on me, I would like to be someone like that and make an impact on their life." Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.