Shifting Under for the Win, by Jessica Foy

This is Jessica Foy at the Sideline Pass and GNPOSF Junior Journalism Program at the R & L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Media Day at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

With an uncle in the NFL and being a three star recruit, Dylan Bradley was held to high expectations starting his freshman year in college. Throughout his college football career, he continuously exceeded those expectations as he attacks his opponents with intensity and agility.

Most football players select positions based on their physical attributes, but Dylan’s decision to excel at being a defensive tackle surprised most people. Instead of his height being a disadvantage it proved to be a great attribution to the team. Bradley’s height allowed him to move the offensive linemen by the “quickness in his hands” and being able to move his opponents by getting under their pads. According to Bradley “Leverage is key”, which enables him to equal the playing field.

Bradley patterns his game after Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (6’0), who he believes to be the best defensive tackle in the NFL, and NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle (6’1). Being around the same height allows him to learn more plays to get around his rivals. Bradley admits that watching tapes is a great way to improve his overall game and upgrade his technical skills. Watching tapes isn’t the only thing that gained him success in his work; his uncle’s work ethic and determination encouraged him to reach his full potential on and off the field. “My uncle taught me respect for the game and strong work ethic” says Bradley.

As he prepares for the National Football League drafts in April, he acknowledges that his prep plans will remain the same, but his focus is on his last game of the season, which is at the R+L New Orleans Bowl. His focus on this game is crucial as it is the last football game of his college career.His commitment to the team amplifies the love his team has for him.

Teammate D.J. Thompson states that Bradley “ is a brother” and no matter which one of them is on the field that they “always make noise”. D.J. Thompson isn’t the only one, Bradley’s head coach, Jay Hopson announces that “Dylan was our heartbeat on defense. He plays hard, never stops, very focused and he has great instincts. When we got down as a unit, Dylan got us back up and going.”

Bradley’s effort into his position as defensive tackle, is not only noticed by his team; LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron appreciated Bradley as he mentions him by number and says “ #94 makes is one of the best defensive tackles we will play all year long, no quit in him. He’s relentless and tough. #94 makes a lot of plays in the middle.”

When talked to about this comment, Bradley seems very humble about the remarks said about him. His humble remarks are replaced with a melancholy tone as he answers a question about his last game at the Superdome. He states “ That it is a blessing that I get to play my last game in front of my family and the Southern Miss family;but it’s sad to realize that it’s the last time that I get to put on that black and gold.” But it isn’t the last football game that Dylan Bradley will play as the NFL awaits.

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