Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona
By Tyler Lockman  |  Last updated 1/13/14
Despite weekend reports (which inaccurately cited a tweet) that Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford had decided to return for his senior season, it appears the junior has elected to pass up his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. The Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen tweeted Monday morning that Bradford has signed with Athletes First for draft representation. Bradford did not respond to a text for comment. However, as word of Mullen's report spread, Bradford tweeted "Not yet!" but then quickly deleted the tweet. During ASU's bowl practices, Bradford said he had not made a decision about his future. He planned to wait until receiving feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee before making a decision. While Bradford's official draft grade remains unknown, a source told FOXSportsArizona.com last week that an NFL scout recently at ASU gave Bradford a third-round grade. The scout, according to the source, was part of the group that evaluated Bradford for his official draft grade. ASU coach Todd Graham had expressed confidence Bradford would return for another season despite having already finished his degree. "I fully anticipate him being back," Graham said Dec. 19. "That's his decision. At the end of the day, he can do what he wants to do, but I would be shocked if he didn't decide to come back." Graham also said he would give Bradford the best advice he could with respect to Bradford's best interests, joking he would throw a going-away party if Bradford received a first-round grade. Bradford, originally a fullback at ASU, tied for the team lead in sacks this season with 8 1/2. He also registered 61 tackles, including a team-best 19 for loss, and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors amid a loaded group of conference linebackers. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 243 pounds, Bradford was perhaps ASU's best athlete. Prior to last season, video of Bradford power-cleaning 400 pounds during ASU's summer conditioning program briefly went viral. His athleticism could help him boost his draft stock at the NFL Draft Combine in February. Multiple outlets reported over the weekend that Bradford had decided to return for his senior season, citing a CBS Sports report. However, CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler had only tweeted that he was "hearing Arizona State is confident LB Carl Bradford will stay in school," not reporting a decision to return. Assuming the report Bradford has retained representation is accurate, ASU will have lost nine defensive starters from the 2013 season.
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