St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was back in Oklahoma this week mentoring some youngsters in the game of football at his camp in Norman, OK. He also took the occasion to reflect on his own youth. No, not the fact that he went to high school with Olivia Munn, his early football career.
A number of draft watchers wanted to Bradford leave OU after two and a half seasons there. Many predicted that he would after winning the Heisman in 2008, but he returned for the 2009 season. That year was obviously marred by his shoulder injury which caused him to miss most of the season. Despite that, Bradford says returning was the best thing for his career.
"Even though I came back and got hurt, the experience that I gained in that extra year was invaluable. There's no way I would have been able to step into an NFL huddle and lead an NFL team at 21 years old."
It worked out pretty well for Bradford. He was the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and owner of a record-setting rookie contract worth some $78 million, a year before the league implemented a new rookie slotting system. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2010.
And then things went to hell in a hand basket last year.
But that was, hopefully, just a bump in the road. Bradford's comments once again speak to the incredible resiliency he has shown throughout his career, bouncing back from injuries that wiped out his final season to make his solid rookie debut in the NFL. That bodes well for his ability to rebound in 2012.