Taylor Bradley gets a second senior season
He tore his Achilles tendon during the second half against WMU on Sept. 17, and thought his career was over.
After his journey with the Central Michigan football team began in 2007, he finally found a starting role during his senior year in 2011.
“I thought that was my last play,” he said.
Bradley continued to believe and rehab though, for an outside chance at the NCAA granting him another year of eligibility through a medical redshirt.
“Coaches were pushing for it in the spring,” Bradley said.
Bradley — who graduated during the summer with his bachelor’s in science and sports management — had his future in limbo. Any day he would hear if the NCAA would give him a second chance, and another season with the Chippewas — or it would be time to move on from college.
The corner kept rehabbing and working out around the team. It wasn’t until late in the summer when he was walking around the locker room and head coach Dan Enos gave him the news – another chance at a senior year.
“It was so exciting,” Bradley said. “For me, for my teammates, for my family. I wasn’t expecting it. I left it up to God and prayed about it.”
Bradley’s thoughts about trying out for Arena football or Canadian Football Leagues were done – his focus was back on the Chippewas.
“I worked hard in the summer to stay on top of things and rehab,” he said. “Now, I want to go out with a winning season.”
The defensive back hasn’t forgotten the feeling of thinking his career was over though.
“I’m very grateful,” Bradley said. “It was a humbling experience. The game can be taken from you anytime. I’m telling my teammates to play every play like it’s (their) last, because I thought I played my last.”
Now that he is back he said he wants to win. Bradley has seen a Mid-American Conference Championship at CMU as a freshman wide receiver in 2007.
“That was my best memory here, and I want to finish with a season like that: win the MAC, and go to a bowl game,” he said.
Bradley compared this season to the 2007 season, rattling off several senior leaders on that team and comparing them to leaders like Ryan Radcliff, Cody Wilson, Jahleel Addae and Shamari Benton.
“They remind me of those guys in 2007,” he said. “We have a lot of leadership — 20 seniors. With a lot of experience, we should have a great team.”
Steve Winston, a defensive lineman, was one teammate who said he was very excited to see Bradley back.
“(Bradley) has senior leadership, and just being there before,” he said. “He’s helping those (defensive backs) with technique. I see him all the time staying after practice with young cornerbacks and safeties. I think he’ll help tremendously.”
Bradley wants to go out winning, though he is just appreciative for another chance.
“I’m grateful for the players, coaches and staff for helping me get a chance to play another year,” he said.
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