Running back is usually the marquee position in a Rich Rodriguez offense and with the dynamic Nick Wilson on campus for at least two more years, one wouldn’t think other running backs would be drawn to the University of Arizona.
In fact, the opposite is true.
“Coach Rodriguez obviously likes Nick a lot,” said Shreveport (La.) Calvary Academy 2015 Arizona-signee Orlando Bradford. “But, kind of like this year they want to be able to keep him fresh and throw a back out there that has a little bit of a different skill set.
"Nick is that big fast guy that can kill you inside the tackles or break it, but you saw when both backs were going how good the offense was.
“I can do the between the tackles stuff, but I’m really good on the outside where I can make a quick move past someone and then either cut it back or blow by you.”
Bradford’s faith in the UA coaching staff made it easy for him to rebuff an offer from the hottest name in college football.
“It was great that Michigan and Coach Harbaugh offered me," he said. "I’m not going to pretend like it isn’t a big deal, but that’s going to take some time.
“At Arizona, Coach Rodriguez already has everything going with a ton of young talent and the offensive system that is perfect for me. Everybody wants to go in and put up big numbers, but you want to be part of something bigger.”
That is exactly what Bradford was part of this past season.
“Even though we didn’t play against all the best teams, for two straight years we beat the teams that were put out there and we did it for the most part by a big margin," he said.“When you go to Calvary and you play with the guys you do, it just forces you to go through drills with more burst or finish your sprints or weightlifting set because there will be opportunities each game where your teammates will get you in a position to make a huge play. That’s the kind of stuff I want to bring to Arizona.”