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Sam Bradford was gifted enough to it is in a an excellent quarterback in ~ Oklahoma. His job-related ethic, however, made the elite.

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Sam Bradford was gifted sufficient to it is in a great quarterback in ~ Oklahoma. His work ethic, however, made the elite.


Kevin Wilson interpreted Sam Bradford was gifted.

Bradford proved glimmers of upstream potential. However, throughout his second-career start in a 2007 clash through the Miami Hurricanes. Oklahoma was on the Miami 10-yard heat in the 4th quarter as soon as the inexperienced quarterback faked a handoff come DeMarco Murray, looked up and also saw his intended receiver Malcolm Kelly gain taken the end of a beat the team had practiced all week.

The poised 20-year-old quarterback instantly improvised to find his fullback, Dane Zaslaw, for straightforward touchdown.

“Here’s a male playing a large game, a second game as a redshirt freshman,” claimed Wilson, that took over together OU’s offensive coordinator in 2006. “It’s Oklahoma, a many pressure at quarterback. I understand I have actually prepared that to perform a throw that I meant to be there. I acquired in the game and also it wasn’t there, and he made me look at smarter 보다 I was.”


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Bradford’s decision made Wilson and also then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops feel confident about much more than just the quarterback’s future.

Bradford threw for 3,121 yards and 36 touchdowns in his debut season, help Oklahoma victory the 2007 big 12 Championship and also make a second-consecutive Fiesta key appearance. Inspired, Stoops checked out Wilson the occurring offseason through the idea of running a no-huddle offense. The now-retired coach thought even if it it was crooked his team’s protective statistics, it would be precious it.

“My reasoning was the if we can contact 10-20 much more plays a game than you have the right to with mine quarterback, I like my chances of winning,” Stoops said. “I just felt favor he was going to it is in a much better quarterback than anyone we played.”

The curly-haired quarterback with a quiet persona confirmed his coach right. In 2008, Bradford tore up his helpless vain en path to conducting one of the many prolific offenses in NCAA background and to win the Heisman Trophy — the prize every year presented to college football’s most outstanding player.


About this series

Take a look at at every chapter of Heisman history leading come Baker Mayfield’s win.

Chapter 1: production a WinnerChapter 2: Billy VesselsChapter 3: Steve OwensChapter 4: Billy SimsChapter 5: Jason WhiteChapter 6: Sam BradfordChapter 7: Baker MayfieldChapter 8: “Don’t ever before give up”


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Before Bradford ended up being Oklahoma’s fifth Heisman Trophy winner, that wasn’t particular an OU offer would materialize.

His father, Kent Bradford, played under legendary Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer in the so late 1970s and also blocked because that Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims. So, that knew if the Sooners offered him, that’s whereby he’d go.

“There to be a period of time wherein I just wasn’t certain if ns was walk to have that opportunity,” claimed the Oklahoma City-bred quarterback, who was a three-star possibility by Rivals.com. “I think i was probably well under the list of quarterbacks they offered that year.”

Chuck Long, Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator from 2002-05, was impressed, however, by the Putnam City north product. Long, that left Oklahoma in 2006 to come to be San Diego State’s head coach, watched Bradford throw at an Oklahoma soccer camp and told Stoops he required to pay closer fist to the neighborhood prospect.

“I yes, really trusted what chuck felt about him,” Stoops said. “He love Sam. His demeanor, athleticism, the means he threw the football. And then, ns remember just paying closer fist to him. I remember just likewise really gift struck by the athlete that was, not simply in football.”

Bradford to be a multi-sport star at Putnam City North, playing football, basketball and golf. He additionally played hockey and baseball, and on the very same AAU basketball team as former Oklahoma star and also current Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin at one point.

“(He was) very competitive,” said Bob Wilson, Bradford’s high college football coach. “Just a guy who want to it is in successful. Ns don’t think I ever before heard him to speak ‘I.’ that was always the team. He was that kind of guy.”

Finally, one day throughout the spring of his junior year the high school, Oklahoma expanded an offer.

“I called them the following day and committed,” Bradford said. “It was pretty an easy for me.”


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Bradford mostly went unnoticed his first year top top campus.

The quarterback no a serious contender to take an elderly Paul Thompson’s project in 2006 — the exact same year Oklahoma dismissed beginning quarterback Rhett Bomar a month before its season opener, shed to Oregon ~ above a controversial onside kick and also dropped an i can not forget Fiesta key to Boise State.

Underneath the rubble the a season filled with painful memories, Bradford was learning under first-year quarterbacks coach mock Heupel, that finished second in the 2000 Heisman Trophy voting, and also honing his passing capability as the Sooners’ scout-team quarterback.

“Probably much more than anything, (that year) just provided me confidence and also a sense of belonging that once spring began the following year, ns knew that ns would be able to compete, and I knew that i would be able to play at that level,” Bradford said.

Stoops recalls the town hall the student in the first year dissect Oklahoma’s first-team defense that contained All-American linebacker Rufus Alexander, All-Big 12 defensive ago Nic Harris and also defensive lineman C.J. Ah You.

“Have you men watched several of his scout-team play going up against our defense?” Stoops remembers questioning his offensive assistants.

Kevin Wilson recalls Stoops saying, “Man, Sam is ridiculous on reconnaissance team. He’s threading the needle. He’s lighting these men up.”

Oklahoma’s assistants admitted castle hadn’t paid lot attention to the 197-pound freshman.

The assistant coaches quickly captured on come the accuracy and also decision-making Stoops to be seeing every day indigenous a quarterback Kevin Wilson claims approached exercise and video study as hard as anyone.

“I don’t think many human being know or realize how tough Sam prepared and also studied,” Kevin Wilson said. “He was a very smart kid, very gifted. Yet he worked unbelievably hard to become an upstream player.”


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Bradford’s dedication payment off.

In 2008, the redshirt sophomore, guiding OU’s new no-huddle scheme, orchestrated one Oklahoma offense that scored an NCAA single-season document 99 touchdowns. Bradford threw a school-record 50 touchdown passes and rushed for 5 more. He completed 328-of-483 (67.9 percent) passes for an additional school record, 4,720 pass yards.


The Sooners walk on a tear late in the season to bolster Bradford’s Heisman campaign, starting with a 65-21 win over No. 2-ranked Texas technology in the now-famous “Jump Around” game.

Then-Texas technology receivers coach Lincoln Riley describes that evening together a “nightmare,” however for Bradford?

“That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had play in a football game,” that said.

Oklahoma ongoing to roll through a 61-41 win the next week over No. 11 Oklahoma State when Bradford iconically released himself ripe feet away from the score line, take it a difficult hit come the stomach, flipping and landing hard on his left side the end of bounds.

The Sooners then topped No. 19 Missouri 62-21 in the large 12 Championship video game for the program’s 3rd consecutive conference crown, ensuring Oklahoma would play in its fourth national championship game in ripe years.

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Bradford was rewarded v a pilgrimage to brand-new York because that the 2008 Heisman Trophy presentation, where he winner over Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, that beat Bradford head-to-head, and also Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who won the compensation the previous year.