Nebraska native Jaylin Bradley flashed his play-making ability out of the backfield as a true freshman in 2017. Bradley first made an impact and then earned more snaps at running back as the season progressed.
This season, Bradley will compete for playing time at running back, where Nebraska returns seniors Devine Ozigbo and Mikale Wilbon, and junior Tre Bryant, while adding talented junior college product Greg Bell. Bradley was a record-setting running back for Bellevue West High School, amassing more than 5,000 rushing yards in his prep career.
A potential redshirt candidate, Bradley played in seven games as a true freshman in 2017. In addition to working into Nebraska’s running back rotation, Bradley emerged as one of the Huskers’ top kickoff returners. He carried the ball 24 times for 93 yards on the season and added four receptions for 38 yards. As a kickoff returner, Bradley had six returns for 124 yards, ranking second on the team in kickoff return yards.
Bradley made his career debut on special teams against Northern Illinois in the third game of the season. His first action in the backfield came in the Big Ten opener against Rutgers when he carried the ball six times for 16 yards. He added a seven-yard rush at Illinois and had the best game of his career in the Huskers’ come-from-behind win at Purdue. Bradley carried the ball seven times for a career-high 42 yards at Purdue and added his first three career receptions, which totaled 31 yards. He also posted the longest rush (20) and longest reception (13) of his career against the Boilermakers. Bradley first emerged as a kickoff returner at No. 13 Penn State, returning three kicks for 81 yards, including a career-best 31-yard return. He then had three more returns totaling 43 yards in the season finale with Iowa, and he also carried the ball a career-high nine times against the Hawkeyes for 19 yards.
Before Nebraska (Bellevue West HS)
The top skill player in the state of Nebraska in 2016, running back Jaylin Bradley joins the Husker class from Bellevue West High School. The 6-0, 180-pound Bradley had a record-setting senior season and led the Thunderbirds to the Class A state title.
Bradley helped Bellevue West and Coach Michael Huffman to a perfect 13-0 record in 2016, while rushing for 2,915 yards and 50 touchdowns on 324 carries, an average of 9.0 yards per carry. Bradley also caught 19 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown and averaged nearly 25 yards on 11 kickoff returns. Bradley’s play helped the T-Birds average nearly 500 yards of total offense per game in 2016.
Bellevue West capped its state title run with a 43-6 victory over Omaha North in the state title game at Memorial Stadium. Bradley put on a show, rushing 36 times for 249 yards and five touchdowns in the contest.
As a junior, Bradley rushed for 1,712 yards, while averaging 8.8 yards per carry. He had 19 rushing touchdowns on the season and also caught seven passes, helping Bellevue West to an 11-1 record and a trip to the state semifinals.
Bradley helped his school to a 6-4 record and a state playoff berth as a sophomore in 2014, rushing for 671 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes and had a touchdown reception. Bradley was a member of the varsity as a freshman and finished his high school career with 5,308 rushing yards.
Bradley was an All-Nebraska and All-Metro selection by the Omaha World-Herald in both 2015 and 2016. He was also a member of the Lincoln Journal Star’s Super State team in each of his final two seasons and was an honorary captain of the team as a senior.
Bradley is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in Nebraska by Rivals.com and is listed among the top 70 running backs in the nation by 247Sports. Bradley only visited Nebraska. Bradley also competed in wrestling and track during high school.