Carl Bradford’s next game as a football player will not be in an ASU uniform.
The redshirt junior linebacker will forgo his senior year and declare for the NFL Draft.
Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen first reported Bradford’s departure Monday morning, noting Bradford hired two sports agents, Dave Dunn and Justin Schulman, from Athletes First.
ASU formally acknowledged Bradford’s departure by releasing a statement from coach Todd Graham on Monday afternoon.
“It was an honor and a privilege to coach Carl Bradford at Arizona State University,” Graham said in the statement. “Carl leaves ASU with his degree and that is what we are most proud of. Additionally, with players like Carl, Will Sutton, Chris Young, Osahon Irabor and Alden Darby we built the No. 1 defense in Pac-12 Conference play and one of the top rated units nationally. We want to be known for tough, stout defense at ASU and Carl helped us achieve that in 2012 and 2013. We appreciate Carl for being a great Sun Devil and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Bradford mulled his decision on turning pro after the Pac-12 Championship Game and sent in paperwork to the NFL draft advisory board while ASU prepared for the Holiday Bowl in December. During bowl preparations, Graham was confident that Bradford would return for another year.
Bradford started all 14 in games at the Devilbacker position in 2013 and recorded 61 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 8.5 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception for a touchdown. He was named onto the All-Pac-12 Second Team.
Bradford becomes the ninth defensive starter to depart from ASU, leaving redshirt junior safety Damarious Randall and redshirt freshman Salamo Fiso the only returning starters on ASU’s diminished defense.
Bradford is listed as both a defensive end and outside linebacker prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft in April. Some NFL draft experts project him to be taken somewhere in rounds 2-4 in the draft.
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