Anthony Bradford is one of the many fighting for the starting right guard position but there isn’t a whole lot known about the redshirt freshman.
Bradford’s journey to LSU flew a bit under the radar in 2019 as the Tigers welcomed Bradford, Kardell Thomas, Charles Turner and Thomas Perry as the offensive linemen in the class. Joseph Evans was originally recruited as a defensive tackle but made the switch to o-line upon his arrival to Baton Rouge.
The Muskegon, Michigan native was a four-star prospect, ranked as the No. 13 offensive guard in the country according to 247Sports, but didn’t see the field much as a true freshman with the purple and gold.
Bradford appeared in three games, which allowed LSU the opportunity to redshirt the 6-foot-5, 365-pound lineman, who now figures to be among the leaders to win the right guard job. Bradford has drawn rave approval from coach Ed Orgeron but is in a position where he needs to start proving it on the field.
“Right guard is wide open. Anthony Bradford is 6-4, 354. I believe Anthony's probably our most talented offensive lineman, but he needs to show it,” Orgeron said in May. “He can cover up a three-technique, he has good feet, he needs to come back in shape. This summer is going to be critical for him.”
Oddly enough, Bradford’s main competition for the job will be Thomas, who resides from that 2019 class. Thomas is entering a redshirt freshman year of his own after rehabbing from a gruesome leg injury sustained during fall camp a year ago that kept him out for the entire 2019 season.
While Thomas and Bradford will be battling it out on the field come July 24, it’s been reported that the two are very good friends.
"Anthony’s so big and agile, he can’t be stopped. We'll have just double teams that can’t be stopped with two guys that can move,” Thomas told the Advocate for a feature story in the summer of 2019.
In addition to Thomas, Harvard transfer Liam Shanahan will see plenty of work at left guard once preseason camp rolls around. The coaching staff says the senior Shanahan possesses the flexibility to play tackle or guard and will likely be used all over the line this offseason.
Offensive line coach James Cregg sees similar potential in Bradford but, like Orgeron, needs to see that consistency on the field.
“He certainly fits that bill,” Cregg said of Bradford on “Hangin’ with Hester. “He’s strong. But he’s got to get in the heat of the battle, lock arms and see how he strains and finishes the fight. That’s the thing you learn in spring, and that’s what I was hoping we would get.”
That right guard spot, along with center, will perhaps be the two biggest position battles to follow once practice starts up again. With the ringing endorsements from both his head coach and offensive line coach, Bradford should feel confident that he’ll be given enough opportunity to earn his spot in the lineup.