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Better Know a Freshman: Anthony Bradford

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Massive lineman trying to move out to tackle.

LSU

There’s always been this sentiment in football in wanting the first few players to come off the bus to be your biggest, most intimidating-looking guys to show that you mean business. When you’re 6-7 and a listed 355 pounds (more about that later), that will easily put you into consideration. Anthony Bradford is a massive player, but one that is very determined since arriving on campus.

The Story

Very rarely do you see a player from up north commit and shut things down like Bradford did. After getting his LSU offer a day before the 2018 National Signing Day in February, Bradford took a couple of visits, including two to Tennessee, one to in-state Michigan State and one to Baton Rouge. It wasn’t long after that visit that he committed to the Tigers in May and shut things down, signing back in December.

The Numbers

110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.

100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.

97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.

89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.

79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.

247 Composite Rating: ****

247 Composite Ranking: .9179

Bradford went from 278 to 207 during the summer before his senior season, and stood his ground there, finishing up at 208.

The Film

I always think of weird things when watching videos of this, like the talk you always had with your dad after your game as if he was a coach as well. It humors me at the thought of the talk some of these guys going up against Bradford had that started with “Well son, at least you only got pancaked three times by him.”

At 355 pounds, these defenders stand no chance of getting off a Bradford block. You have to imagine having that fall on top of you over and over can’t be a good feeling. Bradford does a good job at getting to the second level when asked to, especially at his size.

The Future

The first thing that is going to be decided on Bradford is his fit on the line. At 355 pounds, even with his surprisingly quick feet, you would think he is destined to be a guard. However, Bradford has slimmed down since arriving on campus, dropping to 330 pounds according to his high school coach, and evidenced by this clip earlier in August, he carries it very well:

I would imagine he is only just beginning in his quest to slimming down, and that’s a good sign at the drive he has in wanting to contribute. The starting line seems to be set with Charles-Lewis-Cushenberry-Magee-Deculus and there are decent backups already with Badara Traore, Donavaughn Campbell and Chasen Hines. However, as we all know, injuries tend to be frequent along the line, meaning there is playing time to be had for those who earn it. Bradford may be a little ways off, but he is certainly on the right path.

High End: Bides his time this year before taking over the right tackle spot from Deculus and becoming a multi-year starter.

Low End: The weight becomes an issue to keep off and he stays inside at guard, but his strength alone gets him playing time.

Realistic: I can see him continue dropping weight to get to a solid 315-320 pounds, adding some more spring to his step and he settles in at right tackle. I don’t think he has quite the athleticism to move over to left tackle, but I see a solid starter at right after Deculus departs or maybe even before.