Bradley Stephens sits on ISU offer

McAllen Memorial High School (Texas) running back Bradley Stephens would be a huge get for the Cyclones.

For McAllen Memorial High School running back Bradley Stephens every Friday night takes on the feel of something special.


We've all heard about football in Texas, watched Varsity Blues or read Friday Night Lights, and Stephens said it's an accurate description. 


"The movies pretty much sum it up," he said. "It's pretty crazy. A lot of people know who you are, what team you play for, and what position. Especially in the smaller towns people will know you when you go out to eat at a restaurant."


A sell-out at Iowa State's Hilton Coliseum is 14,092, Stephens high school stadium seats 15,000.


"They spend a lot of money on football down in Texas," he said.


They also have a lot of talent down in Texas and Stephens is one of the top prospects for the class of 2007.


Stephens has been playing varsity since is freshman season, although he didn't expect to make the instant impact he did.


"I just thought I would make the team and get a couple yards or a touchdown, but I ended up getting like 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns," Stephens said. "So it turned out to be a pretty good year and I started getting some contacts from colleges."


Among the first was Iowa State, lately Texas A&M, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas and Michigan have been picking up steam.


"Now that they can start sending letters and stuff it's building up," Stephens said. "It's a lot of fun getting recruited and being able to visit the colleges. Sometimes it gets a little hectic but it's all fun."


This past August Stephens and his father Craig came up to Ames for three days to check out Iowa State first hand.


"It was an excellent visit," Craig said. "We had a great time there. We met with the coaches and we got to see the University in a good, detailed way. The coaching staff really went all out and took the time to show us what Iowa State was all about."


The ISU coaching staff was one of the first things Bradley noticed.


"Every single coach I really liked," he said. "Tony Alford – I really liked him. We had a lot of fun together; he's hilarious. It's hard not to like him; he's just a good guy."


Craig said one of the biggest factors in his son's decision will be his comfort level within the environment.


"Many of the schools that are recruiting him all offer excellent educations and they offer great football programs," Craig said. "He was certainly able to see that this weekend with Iowa State's whipping of Iowa. It was a great game and he's excited to see that. He knows that Iowa State plays great football and he was very impressed with the University. Those are the things he's looking for when he's going to make a decision."


Early on this season, Bradley is averaging over 200 yards per game rushing and averaging another 50 yards in receiving. Most colleges including Iowa State are looking at him as a running back. Bradley stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 190 pounds and has a 4.4/40-time.


"Coaches like the way he sees the field out there," Craig said. "He has the ability to make people miss and of course the speed factor always plays in there as well. Those are the things that a lot of schools are looking for in running backs."


Bradley has great character and is a natural leader, something that schools are also very interested in when recruiting a young man.  He is the current president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at his school.  


"My son has a strong relationship with Jesus Christ and he is not shy in letting the community know that Jesus Christ alone is the source of his success in the classroom and on the football field," Craig said.


Craig said his son wants to make a college decision before his senior season.


"He's going to decide early, so he's going to [visit] some of the schools he's interested in," Craig said. "Iowa State, he spent quite a bit of time there, so he has a pretty good feel of what Iowa State's all about and certainly Iowa State's in the running."


This past weekend Bradley attended the Ohio State-Texas game in Columbus, Ohio.


"That was crazy, I mean it was absolutely nuts. 100,000 people," Bradley said. "It was a great game. It's kind of hard to have one team win because it was such a great game. Both schools played well and in those types of games you can't really lose because both teams gain so much."


The action in the Cyclone State also caught the attention of Bradley.


"I thought right out from the get-go Iowa State was just fired up to play," Bradley said. "It was a great game and it was exciting to see Iowa State win. When I went up there I kind of had a feeling they were going to have a pretty good game against Iowa.


"I was real impressed with the win. They beat a really good school, but I kind of saw it coming. When I went up to their school they really had things together."



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