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BACK OF THE YEAR

Bradford Can Level a Game

January 03, 2006|Dan Arritt

Allen Bradford, the running back for Colton, would have been hard-pressed to elude Allen Bradford, the linebacker.

His instincts, strength and quickness placed him a cut above most Southland ballcarriers, but his abilities at linebacker lifted him into a class by himself.

Bradford, chosen back of the year by The Times, is one of the top-rated outside linebackers in the nation and the top overall prospect in California. At 6 feet and 225 pounds, he had 157 tackles and 12 sacks, twice knocking opposing quarterbacks from games with punishing hits.

One of his best efforts on defense came in a 42-27 season-ending loss to Santa Ana Mater Dei, when he totaled 14 tackles. He also rushed for 246 yards in 12 carries, including two second-half touchdown runs of more than 90 yards. A week earlier in a 57-7 first-round victory over Los Alamitos, he scored six touchdowns. Against eventual City Section champion Los Angeles Crenshaw, he ran for 138 yards and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass in a 43-26 loss.

For the season, Bradford rushed for 1,869 yards and 35 touchdowns, helping the Yellowjackets (9-3) churn out 616 points, an average of more than 50 a game.

He plans to choose between USC and UCLA before signing day in early February. USC envisions Bradford as a future Ronnie Lott. UCLA, naturally, views Bradford as another Kenny Easley.

-- Dan Arritt

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