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Sam Bradford Q&A
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Sooner QB Talks About Football and Life As Heisman Winner
In the weeks and months after being named the 74th Heisman Trophy recipient, Sam Bradford found himself overwhelmed with personal appearance requests, ranging from talk shows to charity functions and just about other award ceremony on the planet. Demand was so high for Oklahoma’s quarterback, he probably felt like he was spending most of his time stuffed inside a tuxedo.
Such is the life of the latest Heisman Trophy winner.
Bradford’s appeal, however, extends much deeper than him just being another college football hero.
His good looks, boyish charm and expressive personality have elevated him to rockstar status with people of all ages in every corner of the Sooner Nation, and beyond.
That’s all good and well, and Bradford is well aware that all the attention and fandom comes with the territory — but he was never more ready to get back out on the football field than he was this spring.
The 2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year was eager to strap on the helmet and pads and return to doing what he has done better than any other QB in the country the last two seasons.
Sooner Spectator caught up with Bradford during spring practice to get his thoughts on a variety of topics, including his decision to return for at least one more season in an OU uniform.
Sooner Spectator: You’ve had some time to let it all sink in as far as your decision to return to school next fall — even with all of the NFL Draft stuff serving as a backdrop. Do still feel you made the right decision?
Sam Bradford: I’ve had no second thoughts at all. That was something that was important for me when I was making my decision — that whatever I decided, I was going to be behind that decision 100 percent. Nothing has changed. I felt coming back was the right decision for me for a lot of reasons, and I’m excited about getting ready for this coming season.
SS: A lot of people had a hard time believing you would actually give up a chance to go to the NFL and instead return for another year of college. Ultimately, what were the deciding factors?
Bradford: There were a lot of reasons I wanted to stay at Oklahoma. I’ve always dreamed about playing football at the University of Oklahoma and it’s something that I feel very strongly about. You only get one chance to live out that kind of dream and I felt if I made the decision to leave after last season, I’d be cutting the whole experience short. I also believe that coming back (to OU) will help better prepare me for playing at the next level.
When I decide to take that next step, I want to be as ready as I can possibly be.
SS: You’ve been getting pulled in every direction for the past few months since winning the Heisman. Has the reality of being a Heisman Trophy winner hit you yet?
Bradford: It has a little bit. It’s definitely sunk in more than it had the night I won it or the few days after that. Everything was a little crazy during that time because there was so much going on. Of course, everyone was asking me about it, so I knew was real. But the more that has gone by, the more it hit me.
SS: What is it about this team that you really like at this point of the spring and offseason process?
Bradford: I love the attitude that we’ve had and the mindset the whole team has had since we came back to school in January. This has been one of the best winter offseasons we’ve had since I’ve been here. Everyone’s attitude has been extremely positive and everyone has worked extremely hard. I think coming up short in the national title game like we did, everyone wants to do whatever it takes to get back to that game. We know that means working even harder in the offseason and spring to be prepared when the season gets here.
SS: Have you like what you’ve seen from the revamped offensive line?
Bradford: I think they’re really starting to learn to play together and I think they’ve made improvement every practice. From day one to now, you’ve seen a big difference. You watch tape on them and I think they’re starting to grasp some of our concepts and our blocking schemes and I feel like they’re improving and playing very well.
SS: What about your wide receivers?
Bradford: We obviously lost some good players there, but I feel we’ve still got a lot of talent at that position, starting with Ryan (Broyles). And obviously, when your offense has a weapon like Jermaine Gresham at tight end, that’s going to help open some things up for the rest of the guys out there. I really like that we’re looking at moving Mossis (Madu) to the slot some, and guys like Pooh (Tennell) and some of the younger guys are anxious to step up and show what they can do. They are all working hard.
SS: You’ve been under the microscope for the past few months and everything you do or say seems to make the news. What’s the story behind growing the longer locks?
Bradford: (laughing) A bunch of people have asked me about that. They’ve said they’ve seen an article about it, but I haven’t seen anything. If we’re talking about my hair, obviously there’s not much going on.
SS: How much of a positive influence has your dad been on you, not only where sports are concerned, but in everyday life?
Bradford: My Dad has probably had the biggest influence on my life. He’s been my main role model and my hero since I was really young. He coached me growing up, so obviously he taught me a lot about sports. The one aspect I’m probably the most grateful for is the mental side of things — just the way I approach things mentally. He’s been preaching mental toughness to me since I was 5 years old. It’s hard to explain all the things he’s’ done for me and what he’s meant to me.
My Dad not only taught me about football and sports, but he would use sports to teach me about life. Those are lessons I take with me wherever I go, whether it’s in the classroom or out on the field.
SS: How well have you gotten to know OU’s other Heisman winners — Steve Owens, Billy Sims and Jason White — since becoming part of the club?
Bradford: I haven’t had the chance to get to know them extremely well. But I’m looking forward to the chance to getting to know all of them better. They were fun to hang out with during the time we did spend together after I won the award. I do know they are all great guys and they’ve been extremely supportive of me in every way possible. I’m very appreciative of the way they’ve treated me.
(Editor's Note: This is a portion of an interview with Sam Bradford that appears in the April-May Issue of Sooner Spectator. To get your copy or to subscribe, call toll free 1-877-841-8877)