Allen Bradford is a hybrid. A running backer if you will. The 2005 Parade All-America all-purpose MVP was as dominant playing linebacker at Colton High School as he was playing running back. Though he made the switch to running back at USC, he never lost that linebacker mentality. He has the size (5’11″, 242 lbs) to run over you and the speed (4.53 forty time) to go past you.
Bradford was the number one linebacker in the nation when he became a Trojan. He was young and he wanted to play. More importantly he wanted to be a team player. While his career at USC may not have gone as planned, you never heard a complaint. He just worked hard knowing that he would get his shot. When asked about playing special teams at the NFL level Bradford said he would welcome it with open arms. He added that he “first made a buzz on special teams while at SC”.
Allen is well aware that the lifespan of a running back is around three years. He said it’s only in part because of injuries. A lot of guys can’t contribute on special teams so they become expendable. Bradford knows that he brings value to a team because he’s able to play on all of the special teams units.
He’s not going to complain about sitting behind running backs on the depth charts either. He stated he already did that at SC. He’s willing to learn from the veterans and be ready when the time comes for him to deliver. That’s exactly what he did at USC. After just 42 carries from 2006-2008 Bradford received a heavier workload in 2009. He responded with 668 yards and eight touchdowns on 115 carries (5.8 ypc). It looked like he would get a chance to really handle the load last year, but he had only four double-digit carry games.
When he did get additional carries he more often not delivered. He struggled against Stanford with 33 yards on 13 carries, but he scored. He ran for 131 yards and a score against Minnesota. Bradford destroyed Washington to the tune of 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He saved the best for last though. Bradford may not have made a big splash when he first came to USC, but he sure left with a bang. He mauled rival UCLA for 212 yards, including a nifty 73-yard touchdown run. He added a 47-yard touchdown catch as well.
Bradford talked about being a physical runner. That’s spillover from his linebacker days. When asked if he would rather run around someone or over somebody, he said “I don’t run, I attack”. How can you not like that answer? He fashions himself a physical runner. Like Jim Brown he wants to be the one attacking. He wants to be the one inflicting pain. Don’t let him fool you though. He’s not just a three yards and a cloud of dust back. Bradford has the moves and the wheels to break big plays.
His favorite players growing up were Jerry Rice and Ray Lewis. Both players have an unbelievable work ethic. That’s exactly what Bradford brings to the table. He’s going to work hard and do the little things.
Bradford is expected to be a mid-to-late round draft pick. While he doesn’t have a preference to where he goes, he said he would welcome a reunion with Pete Carroll in Seattle. He still has a good relationship with the coach. He also enjoyed his time with Lane Kiffin.
The NFL has a reputation of having diva players that are all about the attention. The fast cars. The money. Allen Bradford is not that guy. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make his team better. He’s not out there looking for the attention. Sure, he may by a car when he signs, but Allen said the first thing he’s going to buy is a big bed with a soft mattress. I suppose after attacking defenders and making vicious hits on special teams that makes a lot of sense.
Thanks to NFLTouchdown.com and Synergy Sports International for the opportunity to interview Allen Bradford.

Joe McKnight suggests that he doesn’t want to risk injury, which is why he declared for the 2010 NFL Draft. I’m sure that’s part of the story, but he also must have been concerned about the ongoing NCAA investigation into rule violations.

Between McKnight, O.J. Mayo, and Reggie Bush, the USC program’s image really has been tarnished in recent years. It makes you wonder if Pete Carroll to the Seahawks is  looking more and more likely.

As for McKnight, he is a watered down version of Reggie Bush. Bush, who still has yet to live up to the hype, has not done McKnight any favors with his play. Bush is a solid back, but has had nowhere near the impact that most thought he would.

He’ll be lucky if he is taken in the third round.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL, NFL Draft | Tagged: Joe McKnight, NFL, NFL Draft, USC |

David Funk, a good friend and writer of the Fantasy Sports Network blog, put together a ranking of the Big Ten college football defenses.  He was kind enough allow me to post his breakdown on my site to pass the great information on to you.  This is very useful info as you gear up for the college football season, especially if you play the Sporting News College Football Salary Cap game.

“Now we finally get to finish up the Pac-10 rankings with the defenses.

Pac-10 Team Defensive Rankings:
1. USC – Starters returning: 7
The team is losing Sedrick Ellis at nosetackle, but they have depth and talent taking over. Fili Moala returns at defensive tackle while Christian Tupou will likely to start at the nose. Rey Maualuga leads the linebacking corps, and he’s got a real shot at being named All-American. Brian Cushing, a former Rose Bowl MVP, also is back. The secondary returns three starters led by 2007 All-American free safety Taylor Mays.

2. Arizona State – Starters returning: 7
Defensive ends Luis Vasquez and Dexter Davis return to form a solid duo. David Smith returns at defensive tackle, but new starter Jonathan English will have to prove to be an every down player. Travis Goethel and Morris Wooten return at linebacker, and Ryan McFoy is converting to outside linebacker from safety. Cornerback Omar Bolden and safety Troy Nolan return in the secondary.

3. Oregon – Starters returning: 7
The secondary should be solid with rover Patrick Chung and cornerbacks Jarius Bryd and Walter Thurmond III returning. Linebackers Jerome Boyd and John Bacon return, but Bacon could be pushed to backing up by Casey Matthews. The defensive line has depth issues especially defensive tackle. However, ends Nick Reed and Will Tukuafu are back as a good tandem.

4. Stanford – Starters returning: 8
The strong Cardinal defense is led by a great group of linebackers in Clinton Snyder, Chike Amajoyi, and Pat Maynor. Ekom Udofia is back starting at nosetackle after an injury-plagued 2007 season. The defensive line returns ends Pannel Egboh and Erik Lorig. The secondary returns three starters and are led by a pair of solid safeties in Bo McNally and Austin Yancy.

5. California – Starters returning: 8
The defensive line returns three starters, but Derrick Hill will take over at one defensive tackle spot replacing Mika Kane. Rulon Davis and Tyson Alualu will start at the defensive end spots. Zack Follett, Worrell Williams, and Anthony Felder are all returning at the linebacker spots and the depth behind them could mean they play more 3-4 schemes. The secondary returns two starters led corner Syd’Quan Thompson and safety Bernard Hicks.

6. UCLA – Starters returning: 4
Brigham Harwell and Brian Price form a solid duo of defensive tackles. Ends Korey Bosworth and Tom Blake will have to find some way to pressure quarterbacks this season, and that’s been a strength for the team in recent years. Hard-hitting Reggie Carter returns to play middle linebacker and Kyle Bosworth will play the strongside spot. The secondary returns one starter in corner Alterraun Verner.

7. Oregon State – Starters returning: 3
Ends Victor Butler and Slade Norris were great as third down specialists a year ago, and will play more this year with the Beavers rotating lineman throughout games. The entire linebacking corps is new, but they’ve had a good amount of playing time. Three starters return in what should be a solid secondary with corners Keenan Davis and Brandon Hughes along with safety Al Afalava coming back.

8. Arizona – Starters returning: 3
The defense will miss All-American corner Antoine Cason, and freshman Robert Golden will replace him. The entire defensive line has new starters and only defensive tackle Donald Horton has started in any collegiate games. Ronnie Palmer returns at middle linebacker, but Adrian McCovy may be the best linebacker on the team. Safeties Cam Nelson and Nate Hess are back in the secondary.

9. Washington State – Starters returning: 8
The Cougars have plenty of experience returning, but were not very strong on that side of the ball last year. The defensive line returns tackle A’i Ahmu and end Andy Mattingly, but depth is a concern up front. All three linebackers return in Cory Evans, Greg Trent, and Kendrick Dunn, but depth behind them is a problem. Alfonso returns at corner as does safety Chima Nwachukwu.

10. Washington – Starters returning: 6
Three starters return in the secondary, but two will likely be replaced at the start of the season. Mesphin Forrester will return at his corner spot. End Daniel Te’o-Neshiem is the only returning starter on the defensive line. E.J. Savannah and Trenton Tuiasosopo return at linebacker. The defense was one of the worst in the nation a year ago ranking 103rd overall in yards per game allowed.

Stud defenses: USC, Arizona State
Rising defense: Stanford
Falling defense: UCLA

Overall analysis: This is still a strong offensive conference, and USC and Arizona State are the defensive units that has the least amount of concern. Oregon, Stanford, and California have concerns along the defensive line, and could be very good should those units play above expectations. UCLA will have to find a way to pressure quarterbacks while Oregon State has good pass-rushers, but they’ve only been situational players. Arizona has too much inexperience in the front seven to be counted upon this year. Washington State and Washington had trouble stopping anyone in a loaded offensive conference, and it’s probably best to avoid them unless they prove otherwise.”

Great info.  Be sure to check all of David’s posts at the Fantasy Sports Network (http://fantasysportsnetwork.blogspot.com/).

 | Posted by | Categories: College Football | Tagged: College Football, Pac-10, UCLA, USC |

Friday Tidbits 2/22/08

22 February 2008

House Hunters NBA Edition
Sacramento traded Mike Bibby to Atlanta for Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Lorenzen Wright, and Shelden Williams.  The Jason Kidd deal got done finally after they drug Keith Van Horn off his couch.  Roy Tarpley, Rolando Blackman, and Popeye Jonesmust not have been available.  Dallas lost their first game with Kidd.  The sophomores beat the rookies for the sixth straight time.  Daniel Gibson drained 11 three-pointers en route to 33 points and the game’s MVP.  Houston will honor Hakeem Olajuwon with a monument later this year.  He’s also been nominated as a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting.  That should be a no-brainer.  Jason Kapono defended his title in the three-point shootout.  He tied the record (25) in the Finals.  Dwight Howard took the Slam Dunk Contest. His first and third dunks were amazing.  His Superman dunk was completely overrated in my opinion since he didn’t actualy dunk it.  The East beat the West in the All-Star Game.  LeBron James won his second All-Star MVP award.  He messed around and nearly got back-to-back triple-doubles (27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists & 31, 14, 12) .  He got one against Houston, but his team lost.  KG returned.  He scored 4.  The Celtics lost.  They also lost his second game.  Chris Bosh poured in 40.  Luol Deng played.  Seattle traded Kurt Thomas to the Spurs for Brent Barry, Francisco Elson, and a draft pick. I guess they’re gearing up for Shaq and Gasol.  Seattle tried to throw in Xavier McDaniel…just kidding. Kobe dropped 41 in a win over Shaq’s Suns.  Mo Cheeks got a contract extension from the Sixers.  Cleveland, Seattle, and Chicago made a huge trade.  Cleveland get Ben Wallace Delonte West, Kevin McHale’s favorite player Joe Smith, and Wally Szczerbiak.  Chicago will get Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Cedric Simmons, and Shannon Brown.  Seattle gets Ira Newball, Adrian Griffin, and Donyell Marshall.  No word on whether Bill Cartwright, Craig Ehlo, or Jack Sikma were considered in this deal.  Houston traded Mike James and Bonzi Wells to New Orleans for Bobby Jackson, Adam Haluska, and a draft pick.  Minnesota traded slam dunk gury Gerald Green to Houston for Kirk Snyder and a 2nd round pick McHale will waste.  Tony Parker is back.  Daniel Gibson (ankle) will miss a month.  Manu scored 44 against the Wolves.  The Rockets have won ten straight.  The West has nine teams over .600.  Talk about loaded.  The East has three.

Peter Forsberg will not return this year.  Not so fast.  Perhaps he will.  This week’s shutouts:  Montreal’s Carey Price vs. Philly.  Marty Turco vs. Detroit.  He also won his 200th game this week.  Detroit’s Chris Osgood vs. Colorado.  Phoenix’s Mikael Tellqvist vs. Los Angeles.  Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin vs. Minnesota.  NY Islanders’ Rick DiPietro vs. Tampa Bay.  Rod Brind’Amour tore his ACL, which will likely knock him out of action for the rest of the season.  The Rangers signed defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Dan Girardi.  Philly Forwards Joffrey Lupul (ankle) and Steve Downie (concussion) will miss some time.  Calgary draft pick Mickey Renaud collapsed and died in his home.  He was 19.  Sad.  Chicago signed D Brent Seabrook to a three-year deal.  Wayne Gretzky picked up his 100th win.  New York Islander D Andy Sutton will be out a while with a torn hamstring.  The Kings traded D Jaroslav Modry to Philly for a third round draft pick.   Nicklas Lindstrom will miss a few weeks with a knee injury.  Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek had a hat trick vs. Tampa Bay.  So did Los Angeles’ Alexander Frolov vs. St. Louis. 

Cincinnati locked up Brandon Phillips with a four-year, $27 million deal.  He had a 30-30 season last year.  Erik Bedard signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Mariners.  They’ll sign him long-term. Chien-Ming Wang lost his arbitration case.  Felipe Lopez, Brian Fuentes, and Jose Valverde also lost.  Milwauke P Yovani Gallardo had knee surgery.  Trot Nixon is trying to catch on with Arizona.  Bret Boone took his steroid bat to Washington.  Speaking of cheaters, Andy Pettitte spoke.  Blah, blah, blah.  Sorry you used or sorry you got caught? Curt Schilling will rehab his shoulder as Boston requested. Hank Steinbrenner used the “well, he’s doing it too defense” as he suggests that the NFL’s steroid issue is worse than baseball’s.  It is probably true, but that defense is weak, especially for a team that has had Giambi, Sheffield, Clemens, Pettitte, and Knoblach, to name a few, be named in recent years.  Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons apologized for their PED use.  Miguel Tejada didn’t want to talk about it.  Texas signed 2B Ian Kinsler to a five-year $22 million deal.  Houston P Shawn Chacon signed a one-year deal.  Ryan Howard won his arbitration.  He’ll get $10 million next year.  By baseball terms that’s a bargain (Carlos Silva will average $12 million a season over the next four).  Josh Fogg signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati. Arizona signed GM Josh Byrnes to an eight-year deal .

Keyshawn Johnson may make a comeback.  At least our ears will get a rest.  Atlana cut Byron Leftwich and Alge Crumpler.  Washington hired Sherman Smith as its Offensive Coordinator since they promoted their to head coach after two weeks on the job.  The Chiefs cut John Welbourn.  Start the offseason police blotter.  Buffalo WR Roscoe Parrish got nabbed driving drunk.  Cincy franchised G Stacy Andrews.  The Bears cut Moose loose and extended Alex Brown two years.  Billy Cundiff signed a two-year deal with Kansas City.  They’ll also franchise Jared Allen.  Baltimore will franchise Terrell Suggs.  There is a question as to whether it should be at LB or DE.  The Colts franchised Dallas Clark, but he turned around and signed a six-year deal with them.  As I suggested last week, New England offered Zach Thomas a contract.  The 49ers cut LB Derek Smith.  Pittsburgh signed DE Travis Kirschke to a two-year deal.  Tennessee franchised Albert Haynesworth.  Seattle franchised CB Marcus Trufant.  The Vikings cut Dwight Smith.  Jamal Lewis signed an extension with Cleveland.  Randy Moss didn’t get franchised.
Michael Beasley had 40 points and 17 rebounds as #22 Kansas State smoked Missouri 100-63.  Cincinnati suspended F Alvin Mitchell for rule violations.  #25 Marquette routed #24 Pitt 72-54.  UAB pushed #1 Memphis to the limit, but lost 79-78.  My beloved Syracuse beat their top rival #8 Georgetwon 77-70.  Eric Gordon scored 28 as #12 Indiana beat #9 Michigan State 80-61.  Oklahoma State upset #16 Texas A&M 59-54.  Wake Forest beat #2 Duke (yeah) 86-73.  Miami also beat Duke 96-95 (I’m giddy).  #7 Texas blasted #22 Texas A&M 77-50.  Arkansas State coach Dickey Nutt resigned.  Coach K and Roy Williams have had a little war of words this week.  #14 Indiana beat #15 Purdue 77-68.  Bradley beat #18 Drake 72-71.  John Calipari won his 400th career game.  Nebraska beat #25 Kansas State 71-64.  It sounds like Kelvin Sampson will get canned from Indiana.
USC WR Vidal Hazelton had surgery on his stomach muscles. Ouch.  He played like that last year.  That’s pretty tough.  UCLA QB Patrick Cowan had cartilage removed from his knee.  South Carolina WR Dion Lecorn was charged with drug possession.  Tennessee punter Britton Colquitt lost his scholarship and was suspended for the first five games next year.  LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux was suspended for violating team rules.  

Ryan Newman won the Daytona 500.
Phil Mickelson won the Northern Trust Open.  Tiger Woods rallied from a three hole deficit with five to play in the Accenture Match Play Championship agasint J.B. Holmes.  He’s pretty good.  He continued with a win over Arron Oberholser.  Phil was sent packing by Stuart Appleby.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

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