Brentwood grad Mulholland caps successful career at Marietta
Brendan Mulholland took a revisionist attitude to the Marietta College football program.
Mulholland, a 6-foot, 290-pound senior offensive lineman, graduated from Brentwood in 2015 as a three-sport athlete. He joined the Marietta College football program in Ohio that fall.
“When I arrived at Marietta, I wanted to be a part of the group to change the program,” said the 23-year-old Mulholland. “My freshman year, we finished 2-8. Every year we continued to work and get better. We then went 3-7, 6-4 and 7-3.
“This season, we were able to do a lot of things that haven’t been done there in years. We had a great group of guys who continued to work to be better every week.”
Mulholland was a four-year player and two-year starter at the guard and tackle positions at Brentwood. As a senior, he was listed at 6-foot, 250 pounds; he was named to the all-conference team as an offensive lineman.
Mulholland added 40 pounds of muscle in his four years at Marietta.
“He was a good high school player; he actually got better in college,” Brentwood coach Kevin Kissel said. “He got a lot bigger and had a better college career. He worked at it; he worked hard.”
This season, Mulholland, an accounting major, was one of three Marietta players named to the 2018 D3football.com All-American team.
Senior offensive lineman Caleb Riggleman earned first-team honors, while Mulholland and junior running back Tanner Clark were honorable mention selections.
“Each one of these men is deserving in their own right,” Marietta coach Andy Waddle said. “Tanner and our offensive line would wear down opposing defenses, and we would be at our best in the fourth quarter.”
The three honorees are the most for Marietta in a single season. The Pioneers started out with six straight wins for the first time since 1920, then finished 7-3 overall and 6-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference for their best record since 1996.
Mulholland, a first-team all-region and two-time All-OAC pick, started all 10 games at center this fall and recorded 87 knockdown blocks while allowing just one sack.
“Brendan was a great player for us and a huge part of the success we had this year on offense,” Waddle said. “His development over the past three seasons has been awesome, and he’s a perfect example of what hard work can help you accomplish.”
Off his 2018 performance, Mulholland was invited to play in the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl in Salem, Va.; All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas; FAF Senior Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Aztec Bowl in Mexico City.
He will suit up Jan. 20 for the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl. A combine for the Canadian Football League also is scheduled in Salem that weekend.
Much of Mulholland’s success and growth in college can be attributed to Alan Estep, the Pioneers’ assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
“While at Marietta, my biggest influence would be coach Estep,” Mulholland said. “Every day, he would bring energy and push us to work and be better than the day before.”
Mulholland was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball in high school.
“He’s a good kid; he’s a real humble kid,” Kissel said. “He had a great career, and he’s going to graduate in the spring. He’s a perfect example of a student-athlete.”
Mulholland, whose favorite movie is “The Longest Yard,” hopes to land an accounting job in the Pittsburgh area once he graduates from college.
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.