Name: Maurice (Mo) Bradford
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
I set three goals for myself in this past season: 1.) perform at an elite level 2.) Lead those that I influence 3.) Get faster and more explosive. My first goal entailed dominating the competition (i.e. winning my one on one’s and making spectacular plays) and earning accolades for myself. I achieved both of these as I consistently outperformed my matchups (TE’s and OL); I recorded 6.5 TFL’s, 7 PBU’s, 2 sacks including a strip sack, and 1 INT, and I earned Defensive Player of the Year on the team. My second goal was to lead those I influence. I made this important to me because I believe that great players bring those around them to same level and encourage them to strive for more. I achieved this by maintaining high energy throughout the season, by exemplifying the team vision we had set out, by spending time guiding underclassmen, and by holding teammates accountable. I knew that by doing these, the team would be more successful and our performance overall would improve. In the end, despite a rocky start, we dominated our closing opponents including an undefeated Dartmouth, and finished as a top 25 FCS defense. My final goal was to become faster and more explosive. I knew that to become an NFL prospect, I’d have to be able to perform at an NFL level. I achieved this goal by spending countless hours doing speed drills such as sprints and running mechanic drills. I also spent a lot of time doing band exercises so that I could improve my ankle flexibility and durability. This work paid off as I was able to improve my pursuit ability, my get off, and my tackling and block shedding.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
Most of all, my coaches and teammates would say that I’m a player that’s tough as nails, intelligent, and highly dependable. Out of the 670 defensive snaps that were recorded this past season, I played in at least 660 of them. In each, I was all in with my effort and I performed with few errors. I also dominated my one on one’s with physicality and skill, I was a force holding the edge, and I terrorized TE’s and OL on kickout and pulling blocks. All this said, I can take a beating while dishing it out. I am an intelligent player because of my knowledge of the game, my anticipation, and instincts. I would spend hours at a time reviewing film and studying a number of things all just to know things like: expect a truck play in Twins Super King when #27 is wide and the split out receivers are stacked. Building a number of keys to look for enhanced my play and enabled me to be a playmaker on the field. My instinct also contributes to my football IQ. There are several times where I was able to make a play because I was able to put myself in a good position to do so. This is evident throughout my film especially when looking at batted balls.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
To me, film is the most valuable tool. During the season, either early in the morning or before my first class, I would go to the film room and review personnel and offensive statistics like how many times a team ran a certain play in a certain formation at a certain down and distance and in a certain quarter. That’s a lot of certains, but I understood that really big plays came down to your preparation. The more prepared I was, the more comfortable I felt which allowed me to outperform opponents. After reviewing this information, I would apply that knowledge to the film where I would try to find patterns in what the offense would run against certain defenses. I would also try and figure out what would be the best defense against this formation, or what can I anticipate in this formation. Understanding the game in this way and spending my own time thinking about the game plan was instrumental in how well I performed. After all, a smart player will in the end outperform natural talent, especially as the game becomes more complex.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
First off, I have a high football IQ which allows me to understand the game in unique ways, and it makes me highly coachable. I can read offenses, I can make good keys, and I can perform them consistently. Additionally, I’m very physical. I dominate TE’s, I hold the edge, and I get off of blocks. I also have great foot work and hand movement. I waste no time with my steps and I use my ability to get past blockers and in position to make tackles. Finally, I pursue relentlessly. If there’s anything that I have, it’s outstanding effort to get to the ball. I believe all of these things together make me a great LB and a valuable asset on an NFL team.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
This offseason I have trained five days a week with two physical therapy and recovery days. I have tirelessly worked to improve my speed, my balance, conditioning, and strength to get in top shape for next-level performance. I have also and continue to spend time keeping up with defensive schemes and assignments so that I have no faults when it comes to football knowledge. Due to recent events, I use an at home gym equipped with a bench, squat rack, and dumbbells, and I go the the football field to work on LB movements and techniques.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
Beyond my football IQ and physical ability, my strengths include having a high emotional intelligence and being very passionate about the game. My EQ allows me to be a great leader and pick up on the strengths and weaknesses of others to help them improve their game, and it also helps me pick up spirits when they’re low and maintain them when they’re high. Also, being able to understand people and their expectations of me allow me to be a model player and a great representative of an organization. My passion for game supplements my EQ. I owe my life to football, and some of the greatest lessons that I’ve received have come from it. Because of this, I feel I have a responsibility to honor it with all that I can. This includes, pouring all of my effort into it, being a great teammate, and spreading the joy that the game has given me to others for as long as I can. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for game.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
I am prospect whose ceiling is high. I have the intelligence, the ability, and the character to perform at the next level, and with some investment, I can become a great asset for an organization. I strive for excellence in all things that I am passionate about, and football is one of them. I see myself as a model player with a long career and as someone with many contributions.