Before his senior year in 1990-91 at Butler High School, Delvin Sullivan met privately with Mike Shipp, the Rebels head football coach. Sullivan was trying to decide if he should focus on football or basketball for the long haul. It was a legitimate question, considering he was a promising college prospect in both sports. Sullivan still remembers the conversation almost word for word. "Delvin, youre 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds," Shipp said. "There are a hundred kids your size in New York City alone whore playing basketball, but there arent many your size in the whole country whore playing football. You need to get serious about football." Already a 2-time All-City wide receiver, Sullivan was first-team All-State as a senior and had another solid season in basketball. He also excelled in track and field, making All-City for the fourth straight year and winning the annual Bailey Award, which goes to the city high school track competitor who compiles the most individual points during the season. Although basketball was actually Sullivans favorite sport, in the end he opted for football, almost by default: The football recruiters outnumbered the basketball recruiters. "I liked Alabama, Auburn and Southern Miss," Sullivan said, "but they backed off when my grade point average wasnt high enough." So he accepted UNA football coach Bobby Wallaces scholarship offer. "I wanted to make sure my mother wouldnt have to pay for my college," said Sullivan. "She had already sacrificed for me way too much. Sometimes she had to borrow money, or work long overtime hours, just to make ends meet or to pay my way to a sports camp somewhere. I dont know how she managed it, but she did." Like many of his friends, Sullivan grew up in a single-parent household in Mason Court, a hardscrabble public housing neighborhood off Holmes Avenue, about a half-mile west of downtown Huntsville. Mason Court, also known as Sparkman Homes, was built in 1954 as a 166-unit low-income housing project. Life in Mason Court was hard and mean, and crime was rampant. "I spent about 20 years, off and on, in that neighborhood," said Sullivan. "Even those of us who lived there called it Little Vietnam. I might not have made it out if it hadnt been for people like my mom and coach Jack Doss at Butler and a guy my age named Tyrone Langford, who I used to hang out with at the Boys & Girls Club." His mother, Jannie Jefferson, was always the main anchor in Delvins upbringing. But from the 8th grade on, Jack Doss wasnt far behind. "Coach Doss was the father figure I didnt have in my household," Sullivan said. "He took me under his wing, stayed on me, helped me buckle down on my grades. He was a great basketball coach, but he was also a lot more than that." When Sullivan arrived at UNA, the Lions were beginning an amazing football run that resulted in three straight Division II national championships from 1993-95. "I had some good moments over there," Sullivan said. "My second year, I caught the winning touchdown pass against Livingston to get us in the playoffs." But when UNA changed offensive coordinators after the 93 season and transitioned to a run-and-shoot style instead of a pass-friendly pro set, Sullivan sought a change of scenery. "The wide receivers became mainly blockers in the new offense," he said, "and I didnt sign up to go to school as a blocker. I was a wide receiver. I wanted to catch passes." So he left a championship program in Florence and transferred to Alabama A&M, where he caught lots of passes and made all-conference in football. He also ran track and played two seasons on A&Ms SIAC basketball champions. "It was a wonderful move for me," he said. "Not many people get to play three sports in college." Following a brief fling with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL, Sullivan returned to A&M to complete his college degree in 1998. He was married on May 2, graduated from A&M on May 9 and left for the U.S. Army on May 21. He spent eight years as a NCO, served two tours in Iraq, participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and collected a Combat Action Badge, four Army Commendation Medals and eight Army Achievement Medals along the way. After retiring from active duty, Sullivan worked for the Army as a civilian for several years. Hes now a contract specialist for the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal. He and his wife, Felicia Sullivan, have a daughter, Tierra White, and a son, Jordan White.