FORT MYERS, Fla. — Universities cannot guarantee their athletes will turn into pros after they graduate. However, Florida Gulf Coast Men’s Soccer has been churning out professional footballers on a consistent basis over recent years. The newest Eagle to make it to the next level is O’Vonte Mullings.
Mullings graduated from FGCU last year and put together one of the best careers in program history. The forward was the 2018 ASUN Freshman of the year, the 2020 ASUN Player of the Year, and earned First Team All-ASUN nods all four seasons he was on campus.After his collegiate career, Mullings was drafted by the New York Red Bulls back in March.
“As a kid you dream of the moment of making it to the pro level,” Mullings said. “For it to actually happen is something that it’s kind of like a wow moment.”
Mullings battled through multiple injuries while with the Eagles. He even had to have surgery on his ACL. The Toronto-native fought back from his setbacks to still be one of the best collegiate prospects in the country.
“I’m not a big emotions guy, but when he got drafted my wife and I just started crying.” FGCU Men’s Soccer Head Coach Jesse Cormier said. “It was like this is what it’s all about.”
Mullings has been in the Red Bulls organization for a couple of months now. He is currently a starter for the Red Bulls II, the USL Championship affiliate of the MLS New York Red Bulls.
Mullings has started all 22 games he’s played in and tallied a goal and three assists. His lone goal came just a couple of weeks ago and ended up being the game-winning tally.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity like that where I can not only score but help my team win,” he said.
Mullings’s success and contributions to the team are coming at a rapid rate, but the people that know him best are not shocked by the results.“His freshman year I thought he was the best freshman in the country,” Coach Cormier said. “I think Red Bull identified that pretty early.”
Mullings is even climbing the ranks in other ways. In his first season, he has been named captain of his squad.“The fact that he’s a captain and his first year at that level indicate a-whole-nother level of leadership,” Cormier said.
Although Mullings is in New York and dealing with the busy schedule of a professional athlete, he is still connected to Southwest Florida.“I still talk to Jesse almost every day,” Mullings said. “We text about how I’m doing, how FGCU the program is doing.”
Mullings still pulls knowledge from his former coach. Cormier used to play professionally before his coaching career. So he knows what Mullings is going through and wants to be there for him. Mullings is planning on coming back to FGCU to train in the offseason.“The sky is the limit for that guy,” Cormier said.