Don't blink when you watch running back Jay Bradford -- the 2015 prospect brings sprinter speed to the backfield and can break a game in a flash.
Jay Bradford is a running back from Splentora (Tex.) High School. He is 5'11 and 190 pounds and runs a 4.29 40. That is very fast! He probably enjoys being fast. That must be very fun. Bradford is a composite four-star prospect and a borderline top-10 tailback prospect; 247Sports has him as the No. 8 running back, while Rivals.com has him at 13th-best. He has offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor. Bradford also has drawn interest from the likes of Alabama and Oregon.
Bradford tweets at @Bradford20Jb, if following high school students on Twitter is your thing.
Any scouting report on Bradford has to start with his speed, which has already received mention here, and for good reason.
He burst onto the recruiting scene in a serious way in May of 2013 when he ripped off a 10.49 100m dash to win the 3A Texas state title, a time that was good for No. 13 nationally. The mark remains as his personal best and it came on the biggest stage.
And though the 4.29 40 was probably hand-timed, he has posted impressive testing results at two Nike events this spring. At the Houston NFTC in early April, Bradford ran a 4.44 40, posted a 4.31 shuttle time, and had a vertical leap of 37.6 inches.
As a result, there's no questioning his athleticism -- he's one of the fastest prospects in the country. However, the issue is that his high school film can't quite live up to the promise of his pure speed. Sure, he doesn't get caught from behind in the open field, but there's not a lot of shake to Bradford's game, as his feet and overall change-of-direction ability is less than elite.
He also has trouble at times in the open field making the right decision. Along the sideline, instead of pressing in or faking towards the hash to create more room, he often likes to cut back inside, which allows pursuing defenders to track him down.
One thing that Bradford can do is use his speed to get outside, an outgrowth of his speed that should continue to benefit him in college. If there is an edge to be had, Bradford can take it.
And though he is willing to put his shoulder down and attempt to punish defenders, at 190 pounds he doesn't project as a prospect who can run over defenders at the next level, either.
Perhaps the Splendora offense doesn't give Bradford the chance to shine in the open field that he deserves, something that will likely change in college if he plays in a spread offense, but right now he looks like a prospect with elite speed, but deficiencies in other key areas of his game that could well limit his upside.