Bradford's Long Journey Comes to Allendale

In recent years, GVSU has had a string of big, athletic receivers who can go up and win jump balls. With the graduation of Brandon Horn, one of the questions heading into this season was if the team had that mismatch on the outside they've grown accustomed to. Enter Cameron Bradford: a late addition from California set to make an impact this fall.

Cameron Bradford can't help but smile these days. His dream of playing scholarship football has finally been realized. On Sunday, he will leave California, where he has spent his entire life and come all the way to Allendale, where is ready to begin his career as a member of the Grand Valley State football team.

It nearly did not happen for Bradford or the Lakers. Coming out of Valley Christian High School, Bradford was a skinny 6'2, 175-lb wideout stuck on a running team with a Wing-T system. His lone offer was from the University of San Diego, but academics forced him to head to Foothill. After a greyshirt and two seasons on the team, Bradford blossomed into a physical, 205-lb playmaker. He received interest from several schools but committed to Stony Brook.

"Grand Valley didn't talk to me much because I was committed, but Stony Brook didn't workout and Grand Valley needed a wide receiver. There were other Division II schools who offered me but once they offered it was a no brainer."

It was a no-brainer from both sides as the Lakers needed a receiver like Bradford and he needed a place where he would see the ball and more importantly, have a chance to win.

"They have a great history and tradition," he explained, "On my visit, I learned about the offense I really like it. They like to mismatch it and throw it up. I'm big and physical and I can go up and get the ball and after the catch, I like to punish people. They said they'll put me outside and I'll have a chance to catch a lot of balls if I do what I need to do."

Bradford will have three years to play two in Allendale and does not plan on wasting any time, as he wants to make an immediate impact this fall. In terms of adjustments, it isn't learning a new offense or building a rapport with a new quarterback that he says will be his greatest challenge, it's the weather.

"It will be the biggest thing I have to do when I get there," he said of getting used to the cold, "but I feel like once you get on the field and start running around, it won't be a problem."

Then there is the task of leaving friends, family and everything he is used to on the left coast. "I don't know anybody except the friends I made on my recruiting trip," Bradford said, "I think I'll be fine. I know it's going to be hard the first few days and then I'll be ok. They [friends/family] all know I have a great opportunity and I know I have a great opportunity and I'm excited."

It is safe to assume we can't say the same for Laker opponents.

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