Much like the Florida State football program, Nigel Bradham has experienced a pendulum of ups and downs during his time as a Seminole.
The familiarity of navigating the highs and the lows will certainly help him as he prepares to take the next step of entering the National Football League.
It has already helped Bradham in a huge way, especially considering he will be playing a new position during this week’s 2012 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Despite making the adjustment from playing outside linebacker at Florida State to playing middle linebacker for the South team, Bradham has a lofty goal he wants to prove to the legions of NFL scouts in attendance.
“I feel like I am underrated as a linebacker,” Bradham said. “I just want to show that I am the best linebacker here (at the Senior Bowl). That is my main personal goal while I am here.”
Bradham has the size (6’1.5”, 237 pounds) and the ability to play in the middle, but learning a new position in a setting that is a metaphorical job interview is something Bradham takes pride in.
“It gives me a chance to show that I am a versatile linebacker,” Bradham said. “If you can play Will, Mike, or Sam in any scheme or any defense, its huge and helps your draft stock go up.”
Bradham flashed plenty of potential during his four years in Tallahassee, but his progress was stagnated in the middle of his career when the Seminoles program underwent a facelift in the transition from the Bobby Bowden era into the Jimbo Fisher regime.
After a strong finish to his final season wearing the garnet and gold, Bradham is ready to take on the challenge at the next level, especially after getting some encouragement from a Seminole legend.
“I actually talked to Derrick Brooks at the last game of the season (Champs Sports Bowl),” Bradham said. “He was on the sidelines and he gave me some pointers and just told me stay focused after I’m drafted, make sure I learn the playbook and basically just keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble.”
With that endorsement in tow, Bradham has already begun the process of turning his doubters into believers.
He expects that same feat to be repeated by his former teammates at Florida State.
Like his personal goals this week in Mobile, Bradham explained what the Seminoles should strive for in 2012.
“Bring the (national) title back to Tallahassee,” Bradham said. “That is the goal, and I feel like we definitely have the team and the talent to do it.”
Sanjay Kirpalani is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.