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Arizona State's hybrid linebacker position called the "Devil" backer seemed custom-made for Carl Bradford.
The redshirt junior out of Norco, Calif. decided to forgo his senior season, signing instead with NFL agents Dave Dunn and Justin Schulman of Athletes First, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusinessJournal.com hours before the school had given an official statement.
Bradford had a stellar season in 2012 with 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. His 2013 resume sported 61 total tackles, including a team-high 19 for losses totaling 107 yards. His 8.5 sacks were tied for the team lead with Davon Coleman. Bradford also led the team with five quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.
Bradford issued this statement on Monday:
After four great years on the campus of Arizona State University, I have decided to pursue my dream of playing in the National Football League. I have many wonderful memories of my time here, and I will miss playing in front of the terrific Sun Devil fans. Although I will not be on the field in maroon and gold next season, I am excited to cheer on the Sun Devils with all of you. I am honored to be a graduate of ASU and I look forward to supporting the university as a proud alumnus.
Bradford was an integral part of an Arizona State defense that ranked near the top in many FBS statistical categories, including most interceptions returned for touchdowns (tied with three others), No. 3 for most interceptions and sixth in interception yards and sacks.
With the graduation of defensive standouts Will Sutton, Chris Young, Alden Darby and Osahon Irabor, Bradford made the right choice by declaring this year rather than being a part of a 2014 defense that will go through plenty of growing pains.
"It was an honor and a privilege to coach Carl Bradford at Arizona State University. Carl leaves ASU with his degree and that is what we are most proud of," Coach Todd Graham said in a statement on Monday. "We appreciate Carl for being a great Sun Devil and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."
According to Ryan Bafaloukos of House of Sparky:
"Bradford is projected to go as high as the second round by some draft analysts who believe the Arizona State product has tremendous upside as an edge pass rusher at the next level."