Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford had a remarkable run in 2008, breaking school and NCAA records and leading his Sooners to the BCS National Championship game.
Then, despite being considered a lock to go in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, Bradford decided to come back to Norman for his junior season.
Bradford was in Fort Worth, Texas, last week where he was honored for winning the 2008 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, which has gone to the nation’s top college quarterback since 1981.
Before the banquet,
Bradford took some time to speak with The Oklahoman in a one-on-one interview as his Sooners get ready to begin spring practice March 3.
Question: When you look at the Davey O’Brien, with guys like Troy Aikman and Jim McMahon having won it, what does it mean to you to be on the same list with them?
Bradford: "It’s pretty crazy. After my conversation with Joe Theismann, I went back to my room and looked at the list. I don’t think until I looked at the list I realized just how prestigious of an award this really is.
"You look at some of the big-name guys, but for me you look at someone like Jason White, who won the award twice. Jason White is someone I grew up idolizing and watching at Oklahoma. So, to think that I joined another group with him and so many other football players, it’s pretty humbling.”
You had a chance to talk one-on-one with (former Super Bowl quarterback) Joe Theismann. What exactly did you talk about and what did you learn from him?
"We talked about a lot of things. We talked about football, we talked about life and how you deal with certain things on and off the football field. He talked a lot of offense and lot of leadership, too. Which was really cool, especially with this year because I feel that’s something I want to improve on. To get to talk to him about leadership and what he did. I think that really will help me out.”
The thumb feeling OK?
"Yeah, the thumb feels good. I’m ready to go for the spring.”
What’s your goal individually this spring? What is it, specifically, that you want to work on?
"There’s so many things that I could tell you, but I think more than anything becoming a lot quicker with defense recognition and focusing a lot more on the small things. I feel like I grasp the big picture of what the defense is trying to do pretty well.
"But maybe they tip their hand very slightly and subtly, and if I’m able to see that before the play starts and know what they’re going to do just by something that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to pick up last year, but I can this year. I think that’s something I really hope to improve on.