Although he likely would have been one of the first quarterbacks taken in the 2009 NFL Draft, Bradford decided to return to Oklahoma for his junior season in January 2009. But on October 25, 2009, Bradford announced he would forgo his final year at Oklahoma and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Commonly considered one of the top prospects available, Bradford was projected as high as the No. 1 overall pick for most of the preseason and the early part of the regular season.
On April 22, 2010, Bradford was selected by the St. Louis Rams as the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Bradford is an official citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and is also listed on the tribe's rolls. He is one-sixteenth Cherokee through his paternal great-great-grandmother, Susie Walkingstick, who was a full-blooded Cherokee. Bradford is the first person of Cherokee descent to start at quarterback for a Division I university since Sonny Sixkiller, a full-blooded Cherokee, who played for the University of Washington during the 1970-72 seasons. Greg Maddox, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, started for James Madison from 1996–98 and is the last Native American to hold the distinction before Bradford. Bradford also holds the distinction of being the first Native American to win the Heisman Trophy.
Good thing Sam Bradford went to the Rams rather than the Washington Redskins. Otherwise we would've had to spend weeks discussing the issue.
Someone mentioned that this would've raised awareness of the mascot issue. True. But unless Bradford took a stance against playing for the Redskins, we would've had the same old debate we've had a thousand times. The majority who see nothing wrong with Indian mascots would've trotted out the same old arguments: "It doesn't hurt anyone. We're honoring Indians. You're being PC. Don't you have anything better to do?" Etc.
There's no evidence Bradford would've spoken out against his employer and jeopardized his career. In fact, he said he was willing to play for the Redskins.
So I think dodging this debate is for the best. I can just hear the naysayers now: "If an enrolled Indian says there's nothing wrong with playing for the Redskins, who are you to say differently? His presence proves the name isn't offensive to Indians."
For more on the subject, see Bradford May Play for Redskins and Bradford Talks the Talk at Ceremony.
As much as I like Bradford and OU football, I am afraid his athletic ability has peaked and he is more likely to have a mediocre performance left with his arm injury(s) careerwise.
It is wiser to judge an athlete according to his toughest performance against his strongest opponent. Unfortunately for Bradford, when faced against a strong defense during "crucial" away games, he is not a proven quarterback.
I predicted Bradford would not leave OU over an NFL career and I was right. His Heisman award was his swansong and his fame is already stamped in OU football history. His completion of academics at OU is a smarter move and should have been purely an investment move for his future. Think about it!
He should stay and finish at OU since football history proves that ANY injury, especially an arm injury, for a quarterback, is sure to surface somewhere down the line against some powerful NFL defensive players!
I wish you luck anyway Bradford and as a native All District Offensive player myself, I hope I am wrong and you do progress. I just have to be realistic and know that re-injuries can be worse than the initial injury!
I got to meet Sonny Sixkiller. He had a part in the original film, "The Longest Yard" (1974).
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