Even before accepting an offer to play football for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2010, Archie Bradley says he's still a lifelong OU fan. He returned to his home in Broken Arrow this week after completing his second full season as a minor-league pitcher.
"Up there in Norman, on game days, I keep up with it quite a bit," Bradley admits.
Not to say the former Broken Arrow quarterback regrets not following through with a commitment to play football for the Sooners. That's what going seventh overall in Major League Baseball's amateur draft two years ago followed by signing a five-million-dollar contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks can do.
Seeing as how the three-man quarterback competition was so close up through the start of this 2013 college football season at Oklahoma, Bradley can't help but wonder what might have been.
"I was telling some of my teammates: I'm not saying I would have started, but just the way I believe in myself, and the way I compete, I think I would have had a really good chance to compete for a starting job there," said Bradley.
When asked about his style as a quarterback, Bradley said, "I can run. I'm not as athletic as they are. I'm not nearly as fast or anything. But I could throw. With the offense they've changed to, I feel like I could have run that very well."
It's not unheard of, particularly in Oklahoma, to see former professional baseball players become successful college quarterbacks. The most recent case was Brandon Weeden, who led the Oklahoma State Cowboys to their first BCS bowl appearance at the end of the 2011 season. He also was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft four months later.
Unlike Weeden, who also was a professional pitcher, Bradley was just a finalist for National Minor League Player of the Year and arguably the top overall MLB prospect according to analysts at Baseball America and ESPN. Barring an epic meltdown, Archie Bradley will be a big league pitcher soon-- just not in 2013.
Bradley acknowledged his disappointment to not finishing this season with Arizona. But the way he sees it, "I can only control pitching and what they decide to do with me is their choice and I'm just going to go out there and pitch. And hopefully next year I get a chance."