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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Aggies land another ESPN Jr. 300 RB

By Sam Khan Jr.

When Splendora (Texas) High School running back Jay Bradford displayed his elite speed for Texas A&M coaches at a June camp, the Aggies' staff knew he was something special.

And after already landing one ESPN Junior 300 running back, the Aggies added another when Bradford committed to Texas A&M on Wednesday night.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound back became the third commitment in Texas A&M's 2015 class, giving his pledge to Kevin Sumlin. Splendora track coach and assistant football coach Randy Pope confirmed the news to GigEmNation via text message.

Bradford joins ESPN Junior 300 running back Rodney Anderson (Katy, Texas/Katy) and ESPN Junior 300 tight end Jordan Davis (Houston/Clear Lake) in the Aggies' 2015 recruiting class.

A dual-sport star, Bradford is the No. 238 player in the ESPN Junior 300. The four-star prospect, who was recruited by Aggies' running backs coach Clarence McKinney, is ranked 21st in the country among 2015 running backs and 37th overall in the state. He also held offers from Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech.

What Bradford brings to the Aggies is speed. He won the Texas Class 3A state championship in the 100-meter dash in May, running a fully automatic time of 10.49 seconds, and the long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 11 1/2 inches. When he showed up at the Aggies' June 2 camp, he reeled off two sub-4.3 second 40-yard dashes. The coaching staff hand-timed him at 4.28 and 4.29 seconds, according to Pope.

Once he claimed the state 100-meter title, college coaches started taking note of Bradford. Once he hit the camp circuit and coaching staffs got to see his speed up close and personally, the offers followed.

Bradford's commitment means several things for the Aggies. First, it gives them two of the best backs in the state of Texas in the 2015 class. Anderson, who the No. 119 player in the ESPN Junior 300, committed on Aug. 6. It also could signify that the Aggies are done taking running backs in the 2014 class, as long as four-star prospect Shaun Nixon (Austin/Lake Travis) remains solidly committed.

Nixon, who committed to the Aggies on Nov. 29, 2012, is the lone running back in the Aggies' 2014 class at the moment. Texas A&M was in the running for 2014 athlete Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton), who likely projects as a running back in college, but he committed to Texas on Saturday. The Aggies also remained in the race for ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) but he canceled his originally-planned official visit to Aggieland, which was scheduled the weekend of Sept. 14 when the Aggies host Alabama.

Mixon instead will officially visit California that weekend when the Bears host Ohio State. The Aggies are now on the outside looking in for Mixon, opening the door for them to take a second running back in the loaded 2015 class.

With Nixon in the 2014 class and the duo of Anderson and Bradford in the 2015 class, the Aggies have a steady stream of quality backs ready to succeed where current Aggie running backs Ben Malena, Trey Williams, Brandon Williams and Tra Carson when their A&M careers come to a close. That quartet is expected to give Texas A&M a formidable rushing attack this fall and Nixon, Anderson and Bradford could team up with A&M true freshman running back James White in a couple of years to form a similar quartet.

The commitment of Bradford, who we profiled in the spring, also continues the Aggies strong start in the 2015 class. All three of Texas A&M's committed prospects in the class are ESPN Junior 300 members.