Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Know Your Super Bowl XLII Thundering Herd Alumni: Ahmad Bradshaw

While those not too familiar with the Thundering Herd might be shocked to discover that Marshall even has five players in the NFL, we in Huntington know that not only does the Herd have far more than that, they have five good enough to play in the Super Bowl. OK, so it might help that four happen to play for Bill Belichick. Regardless, as a public service to you, the reader, here is the first of five looks back at the college careers of Herd alumni gunning for a ring:

Ahmad Bradshaw

Position: Running Back

Hometown: Bluefield, VA

Years at Marshall: 2004-2006

Career Stats: 2982 rushing yards, 31 TD's 697 receiving yards, 5 TD's

Awards: 2005 C-USA 2nd team, 2006 C-USA 1st team

Draft: 250th pick (Round 7) in 2007 by New York Giants

Years in NFL: 1

The word "best" is a little iffy, but the phrase "most talented" is something most Herd fans probably can agree on when comparing the Giants' rookie to other Marshall running backs.

AB fell into Marshall's lap when college football mastermind Al Groh booted him from UVA for an underage drinking/running from the cops incident. He spent most of his freshman season of 2004 backing up senior Earl Charles. Not unlike his rookie season with the Giants, Bradshaw was at his best late in the season as he showed off his raw talent with big plays against Akron and Western Michigan.

Amhad immediately became the focal point for the offense in 2005 as the Herd found itself in a new conference with a new quarterback and head coach. He finished with 997 rushing yards during Marshall's rough 4-7 campaign.

Bradshaw broke out in his junior year with 1523 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns on the season, both in the top 10 nationally. In what would be the final home game of his college career, AB ran all over UTEP to the tune of 262 yards and 5 TD's, earning a helmet sticker from College Gamenight in the process.

Many Herd fans were pissed that AB skipped his senior season to head for the NFL. His presence alone probably would have added at least one or two more wins to the 3-9 disaster that was 2007. The most dissapointing thing though is that Marshall's most talented running back never got to play with a good Herd team. The thought of AB next to Leftwich in the shotgun with Watts, Davis, and Marriott out wide would still give Tom Amstutz chills. Or maybe it's the food he'd undoubtedly be thinking about. Who knows?

Best YouTube clip:

Here's Ahmad running all over UCF in 2006. The last one is just silly. Drink every time the announcer (Rece Davis?) says "Bradshaw!"


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