Another Walk-On Success Story in the Making

Former Sun Devil safety Adam Archuleta is one of many players at ASU that went from walk-on to stardom. It can only be fate that Brady Conrad personally knows the now NFL safety. The 6-4 256 Conrad was walk-on tight end until Wednesday, and on that day he was awarded a scholarship, following in the path of his family friend.

"Seeing him (Archuleta) and his story was definitely an inspiration," said the tight end. "I played at Scottsdale Community College and I'm originally from Gilbert High School. I came to Scottsdale because I didn't get anything good (i.e. recruiting offers) out of high school. I still didn't get anything coming out of Scottsdale, so I walked on and I felt that I should just go for broke and if I didn't make it at ASU I would be done."

Conrad was anything but finished with the Sun Devils. All fall camp he has been turning heads and has quickly been elevating himself up the depth chart. Now with Brent Miller out with an injury, he would be the starting tight end if the season were to begin today. "It all happened really quickly," he admitted. "Last spring I couldn't do anything correctly and now I'm running with the 1's. I learned a lot and the spring helped me out a lot because there are so many plays you have to learn. So doing that, learning the technique and putting in a lot of hard work I was able to push my way up."

The tight end stated that he came to Arizona State not only because he's a big fan, but also because of the two-tight end system that naturally utilizes more players at that position than most schools. Thus, he may have expected more playing time, but a scholarship?

"I was very surprised," he commented on the news he received on Wednesday. "Coach told me five minutes before he told everyone else. I wasn't expecting much of anything. My first reaction was relief, because as a walk-on you don't get much. I was battling with football practice, studying electrical engineering, and getting a job. It was gonna be tough."

In ASU's offense, Miller was considered more of the blocking tight end, which begs the question is the role that Conrad feels more comfortable with. "I would like to consider myself as both a good blocker and receiver," he explained. "It's up to them (the coaches) where they want to utilize me. I'll be happy if I'm in the game."

Regardless of Miller's condition, Conrad is assured playing time, with the possibility of starting his first ever Division I game in the season opener against NAU. "It really hasn't kicked in yet," he admitted. "I know that before the first game I will have the butterflies, but I think once I get into that zone I'll be fine."

The dream has been fulfilled for Conrad. Reality will soon kick in and he will be asked to fill in some pretty big shoes.

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