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Determination is an under-appreciated skill. When Jaylen Bradshaw showed up in Blacksburg in June, he didn’t have any major scholarship offers. By the end of the day, the Hokies extended him a verbal offer that he accepted immediately. That determination to show well enough at a one-day camp is something that has allowed Bradshaw to turn a corner as a football player.
The Hokies have a history of turning unknown high school prospects into NFL ready wide receivers. Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale, David Clowney, Josh Hyman, Justin Harper, and Andre Davis are just a few that come to mind. Bradshaw will have a great opportunity to follow in those player’s footsteps and earn early playing time next season. He has some work to do between now and then but opportunity is knockin’.
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When I wrote my in-state rankings article a few weeks ago, I was struggling with where exactly to slot Bradshaw on my list. On one hand, he had a phenomenal senior season and seemed to turn a corner this year by going from good player to great player for Oscar Smith High School. On the other hand, I have a few concerns about him being able to come in and contribute right away. Eventually, I slotted him at 26th, which is average of the pay-site rankings listed above.
Bradshaw doesn’t have great size nor does he have elite speed. He’s 6’1” and is deceptively quick on film. I would liken him to a slightly more developed Demitri Knowles will probably less pure foot speed. His hands are good and he does an excellent job catching the ball away from his body. That’s something Tech’s receivers struggled with early on this season.
Overall, I think Bradshaw will enter the program next summer, go through a few weeks of fall practice, then the coaches will either redshirt him for development reasons or he’ll perform well enough to travel. I think the best option would be to redshirt him unless he turns out to be the best option of the four wide receivers we’re set to bring in this July.
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