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WVU Defense Benefits from Tyrin Bradley’s Unique Perspective as Former QB



WVU Football BANDIT Tyrin Bradley

The WVU defense has been effective at getting to the quarterback this season. And ironically, a former quarterback is helping that cause.

When a defense has a strong pass rush, it not only makes life miserable for the opposing quarterback, but it also makes life easier for the rest of that defense. The ability of West Virginia’s defense to get in the quarterbacks’ face and make him sweat early in this season has allowed every layer of the defense to be at their best.

The linebacker crew has been able to play free and wait for the tackle to come to them, instead of having to go in and help the line. The secondary has been able to know opportunities to generate takeaways will be prevalent as well.

So how has the defense been able to mustard up such a strong pass rush?  One big, and arguably surprising, reason is the addition of Tyrin Bradley at BANDIT.

The linebackers are led by veteran Lee Kpogba, but Bradley is a presence that extends beyond the numbers. Transferring up to the FBS level this season from FCS Abilene Christian near his hometown in Lubbock, Texas, Bradley wanted to demonstrate he belongs. So far n 2023, he’s recorded four tackles and a sack in three games, but he’s acted as a coach of sorts due to his unique background.

“I always knew I was a big-time football player and I could play big-time ball, so I decided to enter the portal to see where I would get the best opportunity, the best feel,” said Bradley.

“I was always a bigger kid so I moved to d-end my junior year of high school but I still played quarterback as well. Going into senior year that was my primary position (defensive end),” explained Bradley about his journey while speaking with the media on Monday.

He then added why he picked WVU as the place to mark this statement. “West Virginia let me know what position I would be in right away,” he said. “I’m a pretty decisive person. I came here to visit with my grandmother and she felt at peace and I did, too.”

Bradley’s path to college linebacker on a major conference team started out different than most of his peers. He had to first make the transition from high school quarterback. But Bradley believes that having quarterback experience now gives him a leg up on his completion as a defensive player.

Bradley credits WVU defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley for helping make the move as easy as possible. “Coach Lesley, he broke everything down for me and I had a great understanding of the defense. I felt I could help these guys do something big.”

But that doesn’t mean the move was an easy one for Bradley at first. “Putting that behind me it was something I had to get used to but I’m loving the transition I made.”

Being able to know what the quarterback is thinking and being able to relay that message to his teammates, both during games on the fly and while watching film to prepare, makes Bradley an invaluable asset to the WVU defense.

Bradley honestly believes his past as a quarterback gives him an edge. He says he can tell when a quarterback doesn’t have it and he can pick up on tells early in games.

Regardless of what shows up on the box score from Bradley, he’s providing the WVU defense with a mind and intellect no one else can offer.

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