Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley was in his family’s South Jersey home on Saturday when the phone call he had been waiting for his entire life finally came.
And his screen said “Philadelphia.”
The Eagles took the Temple and Rancocas Valley High School product in the sixth round (pick No. 196) on Saturday. Not only did Bradley get drafted but he’ll now get to continue his football career in the same stadium where he has already been making a name for himself.
“Man, it was unbelievable,” Bradley said. “It was a totally unbelievable moment. I was in complete shock. I couldn't even cry at first. I was just stuck staring at the screen, and then all the tears came out and my family was cheering. Oh, man, it was just a great feeling.”
During a normal draft, Bradley would have probably driven across the bridge for in-person meetings with the Eagles and with reporters after the pick. Instead, there were video conferences, which didn’t mask even one ounce of his excitement.
Bradley said his home was very excited by the pick as you’d imagine. And his dad, who is a Giants fan, even put on the Eagles jersey immediately.
Lets work!!! IM STAYING HOME! https://t.co/8OMn4wU4Bm— Shaun Bradley® (Sdot) (@Sdot_Bradley5) April 25, 2020
“I’ve grown to love the Linc and the Philly area in general, even the fans as well,” Bradley said. “I know all the dips and the crevices in the field. I know everything. I'm going to be ready to go.”
Bradley gray-shirted at Temple in 2015 and joined the team in 2016. By 2017, he was a starter and led the team in tackles. He ended up being a three-year starter, a senior captain and earned a single-digit number for his final two seasons with the Owls.
His favorite memory at the Linc came last season in a win over No. 21 Maryland. Bradley had three tackles for loss in that game and made a huge fourth-down, goal-line stop in the fourth quarter.
“The energy in the stadium, it was just an eruption and I just felt it all through my body,” Bradley said.
Now with the Eagles, Bradley is hoping to create more memories like that at the Linc. But like he joked at the combine, he hopes he remembers to go to the right locker room.
The Eagles were actually one of the first teams to talk to Bradley in Indianapolis a few months ago but the Eagles didn’t show a ton more interest than any other team. He didn’t know the Eagles were taking him until the pick came in.
There can sometimes be downsides to playing professional sports where you grew up. Sometimes there’s extra strain put on you by family members and friends, extra requests for tickets and, like Shareef Miller found out last year, tons of questions when playing time doesn’t come.
But Bradley thinks he’ll fine with that side of it. And it probably helps that he played his college ball here too.
“I’ve never really been the materialistic, go out and get all crazy,” he said. “I've never been that kind of person. I'm really to myself, family-oriented guy. I like playing the game.
“So I'm ready to just get in this playbook, learn it, learn what they're telling me, and do what I have been doing. Stay under the radar and just keep pushing.”
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