Former Enterprise star Dylan Bradshaw got his first collegiate starts in 2018 but in 2019 he will be called on to fill a leadership role as well as the starting center position.
Bradshaw was an all-state offensive guard at Enterprise before coming to Troy and settling in at center behind All-Sun Belt player Deontae Crumitie. Last season, Bradshaw saw his role on the team increase as he earned some starts at his old guard position and then earned his first start at center in the Dollar General Bowl.
“It was big for me just because the bowl games are really big (for us),” Bradshaw said of his first start at center. “It’s the culmination of everything and you earn that start. Nothing is just given to you. I feel like I played well and it was a good experience, but I feel like when you play against our defense every day it makes things so much more easy for you on game day.”
Bradshaw is one of three Trojan offensive linemen that are members of the team’s Leadership Council, too. Bradshaw said that he is embracing that role.
“I think you can read a book or something on leadership all you want but it’s something you develop over time and experience,” Bradshaw said. “I’ve always felt like I was a leader and I like that role. The guys respect – they’ve always respected them – and they know I’m always going to do my (job) out there.”
New Troy coach Chip Lindsey pointed to those leaders on the offensive line as being a key to the Trojan offense’s potential success in 2019.
“Those guys are extremely important for us,” Lindsey said. “They are some of the leaders on the offense. They’re a really hard working group and they take great pride in doing things the right way.”
Bradshaw said that he feels like the Troy offensive line has gelled nicely in the offseason and that new offensive line coach Ryan Pugh has helped with that.
“When you have a coach like (Pugh) you don’t have a choice but to gel,” Bradshaw said. “He’s a tough coach but he jokes around with us and spends time together with us, too.
“You can look in any (position) meeting anywhere and you won’t find one that has more than 20 guys in it except for an offensive line meeting room, so you have to be tight knit. I really like our group.”
Bradshaw said it’s also been nice to see his high school coach David Faulkner – who is now on staff at Troy – at practices and in the facilities.
“I love it,” Bradshaw said of having Faulkner around him again. “I love seeing a smile on his face out here, too. I’m happy for him and I walk into his office and talk to him everyday just like old times.”