By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
Don Bradley, senior quarterback for the Cherokee Braves, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday, Feb. 2 – National Signing Day – to play football this fall at Carson-Newman University.
“I’m pumped about it and nervous a little bit,” said Bradley who plans to study business at Carson-Newman.
He began to dream about the idea of playing college football during his sophomore year. “It’s when I actually fell in love with it, and it just took off from there. I love being out there, running free, and playing with great teammates and having a good coaching staff behind you.”
During the 2021 fall campaign, Bradley completed 54 of 104 passes for 750 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was also a threat on the ground rushing 173 times for 1,074 yards and 15 touchdowns. Bradley also played defensive back for the Braves and had 20 solo tackles, three caused fumbles, and three interceptions on the season.
For his efforts during his senior year, Bradley was named to the first team All-Smoky Mountain Conference (SMC) Team and was named SMC Back of the Year. He was named second team All-State as an athlete (overall performance). He was named first team All-Smoky Mountain Conference as a defensive back following his junior season.
Craig Barker, Cherokee High School assistant principal and Braves defensive coach, said during the signing ceremony, “We’re very proud of Don and all of his accomplishments here at Cherokee High School. We’re excited for all of the things he’s going to do at Carson-Newman as well. He’s a brilliant young man, and we appreciate all of the support he’s been given.”
Bradley served as one of the team captains both his junior and senior seasons, and he received the Noland Crowe Memoriam Mr. Brave award at the Cherokee High School Athletic Banquet held in July 2021.
David Napert, Braves head coach, commented, “We’re really excited. Since Tye Mintz, he has been the most powerful kid we’ve had – dominating the league, a great attitude. Everything’s been really positive with him.”
Coach Napert added, “He (Bradley) was a receiver that we moved to quarterback, and he ended up being a good quarterback, a running quarterback. So, we think he can play as a receiver or in the backfield. They’re looking at him as a back right now. But, I think he’d be great as a quarterback in an option style system which is what they use now.”
The Carson-Newman Eagles, located in Jefferson City, Tenn., play in the South Atlantic Conference in the NCAA Division II.