Troy native KC Bradford makes first Trojan start

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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At the start of Troy’s win over Georgia State last Saturday, walk-on true freshman KC Bradford stepped onto the field for the opening kickoff as a starter for the very first time.

Bradford grew up in Troy and was an All-State multi-sport athlete at Pike Liberal Arts School where his hard work and determination shone through for him on and off the field. The 6-foot, 188-pounder was a hard hitter on the field and stellar student in the classroom, earning multiple academic scholarships as well as the invitation from Troy to walk-on the football team.

During fall camp, Bradford stood out on special teams and even earned Scout Special Teams Player of the Week honors early in the season.

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“KC has been an outstanding addition to our program,” Troy Coach Jon Sumrall said of Bradford. “He’s a fantastic young man, high character, tough, smart, a great teammate and loves football.”

KC Bradford made a splash during Fall Camp. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

His stellar play on the scout team led to Bradford earning playing time for the first time this season in Troy’s win over Western Kentucky two weeks ago.

“Coach (James) Vallano on that Monday texted me and told me they were giving me an opportunity, a shot to play (against Western Kentucky),” Bradford recalled. “It blindsided me. I didn’t think it was going to happen but it was something crazy to hear and I was definitely ready for the opportunity.”

Bradford then got his chance to start on special teams against Georgia State, on the road, playing on both kickoff and kick returns. As Bradford walked onto the turf against Georgia State, he called a dream come true.

“It was a dream come true,” Bradford said of earning his first start. “Just to have the opportunity to run on the field for kickoff was special. When I looked out and looked around I tried to take it all in. Ever since I was little I’ve been coming to (Troy) games and watching the Trojans play and being a part of that – and a part of this program – and being able to make an impact has really brought to fruition all my hard work and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

While Bradford was excited for the chance to play, he simply didn’t want to let his teammates down.

“I was nervous and I didn’t want to let the team down. The coaches and players trust me and put me out there and I didn’t want to let them down,” he emphasized. “I know they all work had at what they do and I want to work just as hard. Getting out there and playing a little bit was a dream come true for me. It was a surreal moment. Growing up this was a goal for me and to have that opportunity to go out there – and for them to trust in me enough to do the job – means a lot.”

While Bradford is looking forward to more and more playing time, he only has team-oriented goals in mind.

“I want to help us win a conference championship,” Bradford said of his goals. “That’s the main goal. I don’t have any individual goals that I’m thinking about. Wherever I fit in, whatever I fit in doing is where I want to be. I’m just thankful for the opportunity and whatever God and the coaches have in store for me, I’ll do the best of my ability.”