Texas Tech notched its third 2018 offensive line commit of the day on Sunday as Mineral Wells offensive tackle Troy Bradshaw made his decision.
"I was planning on committing Wednesday, I was going to just go and look at Baylor. I didn't think Baylor had a chance of taking my heart away from Tech, but I was gonna go look at them. But then I found out that Weston [Wright] and Clayton were committing, and I didn't want to lose a chance of playing for my dream school, the school I've been dreaming of since I was sitting in those stands when I was seven years old."
Bradshaw discussed how he came to his decision.
"My parents and I stayed up late last night, talked about it. I didn't get much sleep last night, about three hours. Thinking about it, praying about it. And then, I think I might have accidentally woke up coach Jones this morning asking when I could call him."
What was coach Jones' reaction to the news that Bradshaw was going to commit?
"That this is a great Father's Day present, and that the Red Raiders are about to be really happy."
The 6-foot-6.5, 280-pound offensive tackle has come a long way in the span of a year - committing a year to the week after a dangerous infection left him uncertain about his football future.
"On June 21st of last year, I got admitted to the hospital for a staph infection that put me out for six weeks. I couldn't lift anything, all I could do was walk because it got into my spine. I was going to commit [Wednesday], because it's kind of cool how it worked out, I'd have the opportunity to commit a year to the day from when I thought there was no chance I'd be able to play."
Bradshaw discussed his journey to recovery.
"It's actually called osteomyelitis, it's a rare staph infection. Usually it goes in the long bones or the spine, mine chose the spine. It centered in the T7 vertebrae and I spent a little over a week in the hospital, about two or three days in the ICU. After I got out, they told me don't do anything at all. I could only walk. I went to the state 7-on-7 tournament with my friends, and I started to pick up my lawn chair. Coach Perry, my head coach, and his wife, they all started yelling at me that I can't pick that up. It was a long road. I dropped down all the way to 218 and lost a lot of strength, but I was able to work hard and get it back, get my weight back."
Doubts about Bradshaw's ability to return to the game only fueled the fire for him.
"The first doctor I went to said that he didn't know when I was going to be able to play, and I didn't accept that at all because what kind of statement is that? He didn't know what was going on. So I got a second opinion, and my main doctor was the one who gave me the okay. He checked with two other doctors with the same qualification as the first one, so I was able to play some in the first game. And then I started my second game, and played from then on out. And here I am."
Coincidentally, Bradshaw had met fellow commit Weston Wright last Friday at a camp before either of them had decided to commit.
"I met Weston for the first time, it's kind of funny how it happened, on Friday at the UTSA camp. I'm big on signs, I think over the weekend God had really put it on my mind that Tech is the place for me. On the way up to San Antonio, just little things like noticing Tech flags and Tech emblems. At the UTSA camp, Weston and I got paired up to do drills, we talked after the camp and found out that we both had an offer from Tech. We never talked about both committing, I just found out this morning that he was going to commit from coach Jones. He sent me their numbers and I started a group message telling them that I look forward to it and getting to meet them and moving forward in the process with them."
Now that he is on board, Bradshaw plans to work hard to recruit other prospective Red Raiders to the Red and Black.
"I feel like I know Texas Tech really well. I know the area really well, I think I'm gonna hit some of those other guys up. Lubbock, in the recruiting world, they don't have the best perception because they say that there's nothing to do up there, it's boring, and it's up in the middle of nowhere, and that's just not true at all. There's a ton of stuff to do up there, there's great stuff to eat, great people, phenomenal game day atmosphere. I think with those, I can help get some guys in."
Bradshaw committed to Texas Tech over offers from Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, and Tulsa, among others. He is receiving interest from Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Memphis, Minnesota, SMU, and TCU, among others.