When Nathan Bradder’s dad told him recently that he was selected for the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, Bradder was in disbelief.
“My dad told me at dinner and I was like, ‘No way,’” Bradder, a center for Hart High, said. “But then we got home and the letter was there. It’s real.”
The Blue-Grey All-American Bowl will be held on Monday, Dec.18, at AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play.
Bradder is one of 90 high school seniors who were picked from a pool of over 6,750 players. He was nominated for the game after a lineman camp he went to at Cathedral High in Los Angeles.
He had a friend at the camp who was set to go to the All-American Bowl and whose father nominated Bradder to be considered for the game.
Bradder submitted some film and was subsequently selected to represent the “West Squad.”
On Dec. 16, he’ll arrive in Dallas for two days of practice headed by former NFL players and get accustomed to his new teammates.
“It usually works out pretty well because all the players are good and know what they’re doing,” said Bradder, who has past experience in all-star-style games. “They need to just know the plays and get used to how the players communicate and play the game.”
College football recruiters will also be in attendance at AT&T Stadium. Although Bradder received an offer from Occidental College in early August, he’s eager to get in front of December’s crowd.
“I’m hoping that it’ll get me a little bit more exposure out there,” Bradder said. “I’m kind of a smaller lineman. I’m not a big 6-5 guy with 300 pounds. I’m just hoping I’ll get some good coaching out there, and it’ll be a good experience overall.”
Hart quarterback JT Shrout is confident Bradder will acclimate quickly to his new coaches and teammates and catch some eyes, too.
“He really loves the game of football, and you can tell he wants to be there and outwork everyone,” Shrout said. “Whatever college ends up getting him is getting a great player.
“He is an even better person off the field. He is my best friend and I love the guy.”
If you’d like to donate to help cover the costs of Bradder going to the All-American Bowl, visit gofundme.com/49pd8e8.