Florida State linebacker Nigel Bradham loves to play a physical brand of football, and he loves to talk about that physical brand of football. I interviewed him at the 2012 NFL Combine, and it was apparent that hitting guys hard gives him some source of happiness.
I asked him about his most memorable moment as a college athlete. He paused for a moment, smiled and told me about a “hit on Miami this past season that caused him to get ejected out of the game.”
I pressed him as to why the hit was so memorable. When I asked him what was cool about the hit for him and whether it just the hit itself, he said that the hit just stood out so big, that it “stood for itself.” He said that the hit was “probably was one of the hardest hits in college football this past season and that was a big rivalry game so it was always replayed on the highlight videos.”
Come draft day, fans of NFL teams are going to flock to the inter-net to find information on players that their teams have chosen. He said that he could “offer character and great discipline.” He also mentioned his “ability to play sideline to sideline and get downhill.”
We continued to talk about his strengths as a football player and he said that he had some “ability to cover tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield and also the tight ends on the line of scrimmage.” He liked the idea that he could help on special teams and looked forward to “being able to contribute any way I can.”
The NFL Combine has been advertised as a very interesting process, and I wanted to know what it was like for him. We have all heard the stories about the Combine and he described the process as “good, it’s definitely been a process I’m not used to, but it’s been crazy so far but it’s definitely a good experience” and he seemed to be happy that he “got the opportunity to go through it.”
It is always interesting to listen to player compare himself to a current player in the NFL. Players generally like the same guys that fans do, and it is no surprise who Bradham thinks his game resembles. He told me that he resembles his game after Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis and that he really liked their physicality.
He also mentioned “their ability to be able to lead their team, take control of the defense” and then talked about how impressive those guys were at displaying their ability to “play downhill and get sideline to sideline as well.”
He then said that the way they take on blocks is a “whole another level of what they do and they are both great linebackers and future Hall of Famers.”
Bradham is a big linebacker, and he can flat-out run. It is apparent after watching the video and talking to him that he is going to bring some physicality to whatever team drafts him. If you are a fan of big collisions and heavy hits, then seeing Bradham on special teams and on the field as a linebacker should excite you.