Bozeman cleared, nearing 100 percent

Bradley Bozeman has dealt with plenty since the fall, tearing his ACL just four games into his senior season before becoming a greyshirt candidate at Alabama, the school he was committed to at the time. But with national signing day behind him and the rehab nearing an end, the four-star prospect sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

Though he didn't sign with Alabama on February 6, like he originally planned to, Bradley Bozeman still took part in all the national signing day festivities at Roanoke (Ala.) Handley High School.

"It was great; I had a blast on signing day," he admitted. "We had the biggest class to sign at Handley. It felt weird that I wasn't going in this June…but it's still kind of nice thinking about my time to shine."

Bozeman accepted a greyshirt offer from the Crimson Tide last month. He will begin his football career in Tuscaloosa next January. In the meantime, he'll continue to work hard en route to making his college debut.

"As far as football is concerned, I'm going to be working out like crazy," Bozeman added. "I'll be ready to get up there and be the best I can be to get up there.

"For school, I'm going to work with our high school team as a GA, and then I'll take classes. I'm not sure if I'll go to a community college up the road or head to Tuscaloosa."

With the ACL rehab, the four-star offensive line prospect is nearly all the way back.

"We got completely cleared last Monday, and we've been going at it ever since," he said. "We've been squatting for a while now, trying to get back to where we were. We're pushing it as hard as we can.

"You have your own limits set in your mind. Sometimes you need to calm down or stop. Then there's a certain point…I find my limit. I think something is going to be normal, and it will be a shooting pain – so I stop."

Being cleared, Bozeman can participate in more drills and procedures than ever. It doesn't mean the rehab is done, and he's still not quite 100 percent.

"We're not really sure. The day after I got cleared to squat, I was at 400 pounds. It was a small max. That was two or three months ago," he said of the progress. "I feel like I'm between 75 and 85 percent. Really, everything is better.

"The whole process has gone by a lot better than I've heard. The pain, therapy and everything hasn't been that bad. It's been tough, just not as bad as everyone makes it out to be."

Bozeman is actually in the final phase of the rehabilitation.

"We're in the transition phase," he said. "It's where I'm out of rehab and into the weight training. I started front squats, ankle flexibility…there's a lot of things they're trying to do to isolate the knee.

"After the transition stage, it's 100 percent full throttle."

Despite all he has dealt with concerning the injury and setbacks that followed since September, Bozeman remains upbeat and actually remains ahead of the curve.

"It's great. Time has really flown by," he admitted. "I wasn't expecting it to go by this fast. I'm six to eight weeks ahead of schedule. I can't wait to get back on the field."

Because he has yet to sign a letter of intent, other schools can technically aim to sway Bozeman elsewhere, but he's still as gung ho for Alabama as he's ever been.

"Roll Tide all the way!" he said with a laugh. "There's nothing that's going to change my mind. The greyshirt was in their best interest and my best interest. I'm more than excited to do it; I can't wait to get up there. "

Bozeman is still somewhat unsure of the ins and outs with the greyshirt, so he'll look to learn more about it on campus sometime soon. The next time he's in Tuscaloosa, it will be his first chance to meet new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal.

Said Bozeman of his new coach, "I know he changed FIU's program around and what type of coach he is. I heard he's kind of like (strength coach) Coach (Scott) Cochran, and I love Coach Cochran. He's upbeat, so he (Cristobal) sounds like a great coach."

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