Jordan Bradford knew he needed to make a play if Colgan was going to win its first game of the season.
The Sharks led host Potomac 15-13 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. And Potomac had the ball on its 30-yard line. It was now or never for the senior defensive tackle.
As quarterback Pete Woolfrey dropped back to pass, Bradford beat the left guard to the outside and knocked the ball loose from Woolfrey’s hand. Teammate Trevon Murray recovered the fumble and Colgan took over to run out the clock for the victory. Mission accomplished.
Bradford took stock of the moment. He’s been a member of Colgan’s team since arriving as a freshman when the school opened in 2016 and enjoyed some milestones, including the Sharks’ first varsity win in 2017 and upsetting Woodbridge last season.
But in Bradford’s mind, causing the fumble against Potomac stood out for one simple reason:
“It’s the biggest thing I’ve done to help my team so far,” Bradford said.
Bradford has always been an imposing-looking player. Colgan head coach Steve Baudendistel remembers seeing Bradford for the first time and being shocked that Bradford was only a freshman.
Bradford made his presence known, especially on the defensive line. It’s a position he prefers.
“I like tackling and being a little more aggressive” Bradford said.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior is also playing more on the offensive line this season at right tackle. He joins a formidable frontline in senior center George Neiser (6-3, 320, senior) and left tackle Stephen Flores (6-5, 290 senior). Flores also starts at nose guard. Neiser has an offer from Howard and Flores has several Division II offers.
Bradford and Neiser played together at Benton Middle School. Bradford credits Neiser with helping Bradford's development.
“I wasn’t very good in middle school,” Bradford said. “He taught me a lot.”
Bradford’s size and physical play caught the attention of colleges during the offseason. He committed to Liberty over the summer.
“They showed me a lot of love,” Bradford said. “It’s a small program and a place where I can see myself for the next few years.”