Samuel Jacob Bradford was born November 8th of 1978 to his loving parents, Martha and Kent Bradford. Sam is the only child, which allowed his parents to devote all their time to him and support what it is he wanted to do. Whether it was playing sports or the cello, his parents did what they could to develop it. They encouraged him in everything. "As long as it was a good, wholesome thing,” Kent said. "If he wanted to do it, do it.” Even though Sam was central to their lives, he wasn’t coddled. There was discipline if he misbehaved. There was tough love. Martha and Kent’s devotion to Sam remains just as strong to this day.
Much of what the Bradford’s did involved sports. Martha is a physical education teacher for an elementary school and Kent was a former sooner offensive lineman. Some might say it was nature and some say it was nurture, either way Sam tended towards sports.
Bradford attended Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City. There he starred in golf, basketball, and football. His senior year he was the star quarterback for the Panthers. Bradford threw for 2,029 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in 12 games. He received an athletic scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, where he played for Coach Bob Stoops. In 2006, Oklahoma's starting quarterback Rhett Bomar, then a sophomore, was dismissed from the team for violating NCAA rules. Paul Thompson, a senior quarterback-turned-wide receiver, converted back to quarterback and led the 2006 Oklahoma Sooners football team to win the Big 12 Championship Game. His departure left a void at the quarterback position at Oklahoma. On August 21, 2007, Bradford won the starting quarterback role for the 2007 team as a redshirt freshman. In his first game for the Sooners, against the University of North Texas, Bradford completed 21 of 23 attempts for 363 yards and three touchdowns in a little over two quarters, breaking the school record for passing yards in a half, held by his quarterback coach Josh Heupel, with 350. The very next game, Bradford broke Heisman Trophy winner Jason White's school record for most consecutive pass completions with 22. In the second week of the 2007 season, Bradford was named the national offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation after tying the school record for most touchdown passes in a game with five. Having thrown 25 touchdowns through his first nine games, Bradford was on pace to break the NCAA freshman record of 29 touchdowns.
During the November 24, 2007 game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Bradford broke the NCAA freshman record of 29 touchdowns by passing his 30th touchdown to Joe Jon Finley during the second quarter. At the Missouri Tigers game, Bradford threw for 209 yards and 0 interceptions. He was 18–26 and threw for two touchdowns. The Sooners won the Big 12 Championship after defeating Missouri for the second time in a season. The Sooners played the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2008 and lost 48–28. It was Bradford's first BCS bowl game as a starter. In week 8 of his sophomore season against Kansas, Bradford surpassed quarterback coach Josh Heupel's school record for passing yards in a single game with 468 yards. Bradford led the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 Championship and defeated Missouri 62–21. In the process, the Sooners broke Hawaii's 2006 record for the most points in a single season with 702 points. Also, the Sooners were the first team in NCAA history who had scored 60 or more points in five straight games. Oklahoma finished the 2008 regular season with a 12–1 record, ranking #2 in the AP Poll and #1 in the BCS Standings. The Sooners earned a trip to play Florida at the 2009 BCS National Championship Game. After the regular season, Bradford captured the Davey O'Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy. He is the second sophomore, after 2007 winner Tim Tebow of the University of Florida, to receive the Heisman; he also became the fifth University...
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