Bradford is fulfilling his promise

first_imgAllen Bradford was ready to quit.The bruising redshirt junior USC running back admits he considered transferring multiple times when it seemed he wasn’t working his way into the rotation.Long time coming · Allen Bradford, who has waited his turn for four years, said his father’s words kept him going through the hard times. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily TrojanBut the words of his father, Keith, always stayed with him.“My dad told me, ‘Life’s gonna get hard — you can’t run from it,’” Bradford said.Instead, Bradford played true to his father’s words and ran through it, showcasing his power and his speed as he pounded Oregon State defenders in USC’s 42-36 win Saturday against the Beavers at the Coliseum.In his long-awaited breakout game as a Trojan, Bradford rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, his first 100-yard performance. The 5-foot-11, 235-pound running back is known for his power, but he demonstrated his speed as well on a 43-yard scoring burst in the third quarter.Bradford entered the game in the second quarter and dominated from there on. Joe McKnight, the starter, got only three carries after Bradford went in, partly because of a hand injury, but mostly because Bradford was hot.In his first chance to be “the man,” Bradford demonstrated what Trojan fans had been missing out on all these years.Coming out of Colton High in San Bernardino, Bradford was supposed to be the next powerful back to play at USC. But a crowded backfield that included a handful of other blue chip running backs limited his chances.He was then slowed by injuries, particularly a hip flexor that required surgery last season and forced him to redshirt.Multiple times he felt like transferring, and he wondered if he had made the wrong choice in coming to USC. But encouragement from his dad and his teammates picked him up in the same way he carried the USC offense Saturday night.“Players like Taylor Mays, Thomas Williams — a lot of players — told me, ‘Just stick it out, your time will come,’” Bradford said.Bradford recalls the early season game against Idaho his sophomore year as being one of his most trying moments. Starting running back Chauncey Washington went down with an injury, and Bradford expected to be the guy called upon to rise to the occasion and fill in.But when coaches chose to give other running backs a chance instead, Bradford was dejected.“Chauncey was hurt and I still didn’t get in,” he said. “I think that was the lowest point for me on the field. That’s when I really just thought about leaving.”Coach Pete Carroll wasn’t quite sure what to do with Bradford when he joined the Trojans in 2006. Originally recruited as a safety, Bradford moved back to running back and also bounced around to full back during his freshman year.He carried the ball just 13 times as a freshman and 15 times as a sophomore. He found the end zone five times, but it wasn’t enough to keep the former prep star satisfied.That’s why this season has been so fulfilling for Bradford. His role in the offense has been building from the opening game, and in light of the injury to Stafon Johnson, he’s getting more and more touches each game.“It’s sad how it had to come,” Bradford said of his increased role. “I would rather have Stafon back and him not going through that than me playing more, but I just had to open the door when opportunity knocked.”He didn’t open the door so much as run through it, establishing himself as the go-to power back that coaches can use to counter the speed of Joe McKnight.If that sounds familiar to the “Thunder and Lightning” days of the Reggie Bush-Lendale White era, that’s no accident. In fact, it’s what Carroll has been waiting for.“I love having the tough, physical, hard-nosed guy,” Carroll said. “I’ve always felt like we’ve had our best offenses when we have that guy.”Bradford wants to be that guy and fill the role that White played to such perfection.“I just want to be the thunder and have Joe be the lightning,” Bradford said.It has been a long journey to this point for Bradford, but it finally seems as if the wait has paid off. Since the words of his father helped to lift him through the low moments of his USC career, Bradford honored him by writing “I promise” on his eye black.It is a promise to his father that Bradford will make it to the NFL one day, and provide for his father so he can stop working six days a week as a janitor in San Bernardino.It is a promise that Bradford will never quit.It is perhaps also a promise Bradford is making to himself, a reminder that if football gets hard again, the only place he’ll be running is into the end zone.“Middle Ground” runs Mondays. To comment on this article, visit or email Josh at [email protected]last_img read more

These empty promises

first_imgDear Editor,With amusement, I watched on as this Administration once again started making empty promises and building voters’ hopes up in an attempt to win back the voters that they greatly disappointed.What is ironic is that they failed to address the empty promises they made before the last general election and interestingly, they are making new promises. The President tries to portray the image of a no-nonsense person but immediately after awarding himself and Ministers a huge salary increase, my confidence for them diminished.After that, he attempted to fool the people once again by disbanding Ministries, and amazingly, there are more Ministers than the previous Administration had. Many come to realise their ministerial position was created just to give them a portfolio and we all see that they have so much time and taxpayers’ money to waste that they could have gone to the CCJ just to attempt to get support.Meanwhile, all Ministries are still fumbling to perform their duties properly, whilst the country is crying out for help. Editor, since the No-Confidence Motion, under the shelter of ‘Ministerial Outreach’, the Ministers and party supporters have been running all over the country trying to bribe voters by making promises.What I find comical is that these Ministers and supporters know the conditions and issues affecting places and they never attempt to address any. Now that their fun is about to be cut, they are running around asking people of issues affecting them when they fully well know of the issues. At the Tuschen New Scheme, for instance, all the streets are in deplorable conditions, the main access road is the only one that is in a decent condition for vehicles to traverse.As a result of the condition of the streets, motorists find themselves spending a huge amount of money to repair their vehicles constantly and they are forced to overcharge passengers traversing the area. Now this is a scheme that developed under the PPP/C’s tenure and because the area was developing, heavy-duty vehicles were constantly using the streets, thus, after time, they started to deteriorate.Now this Administration, under the guise of ‘Ministerial Outreach’, is going around campaigning and pretending to listen to people’s cries. They fully well know the conditions of these areas and know that almost everywhere they go, residents will be asking for better roads, telephone lines, proper security, street lights, etc, but because their intentions are not what residents expect, the residents are being misled.What I am saying is that it makes no sense for you to be wasting hours going somewhere under the guise of going to help when you already know the situation of the place. Added to that, you have the NDC and the Regional Council that would be au fait with the conditions of these places and I am quite sure that this information would reach each Minister for their attention, which in most cases are being ignored, so instead of being in their office trying to do a proper job, they are wasting time and taxpayers’ money distracting people. Yes, taxpayers’ money is being squandered meaninglessly.So, they are piggybacking on the works of the PPP/C, riddled with more accusations of corruption and incompetence than the PPP/C and they have nothing tangible to show for the time they have been in office but they are wasting time going around the country in a feeble attempt to buy Guyanese votes. They should understand by now that Guyanese are not stupid and are fully well aware of their incompetence!Regards,Sahadeo Bateslast_img read more