LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – Even though he had recruiting offers from the University of New Mexico and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, neither school really had a chance at landing 6-foot-6, 290-pound Bryce Radford.
The three-star recruit from Green Canyon High School had his heart set on attending one school since he was little, Utah State.
Signing his letter of intent on Wednesday was the culmination of a dream the high school senior has had since he was little. On the day of his official commitment, Radford posted a picture of a younger version of himself, already suited up in a Utah State uniform.
If you look closely at the jersey Radford is wearing in the photograph, you might notice it looks a little more authentic than a typical jersey purchased at the school bookstore or a sporting goods store. The patches on the shoulders, one commemorating the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl and the other displaying the old Big West Conference logo are dead giveaways. As it turns out, the uniform that Radford improvised into a Halloween costume over 10 years ago had already seen the field for the Aggies. Bryce’s father, Curtis, donned the Aggie blue as a defensive end from 1994-99.
Following in his father’s footsteps was Radford’s dream all along.
“Seeing all the pictures of him and hearing all about it, going to Utah State is something I always wanted to do,” Radford explains to ABC4.com. “And so that, that really helped in my decision as well.”
When the younger Radford was growing and fawning over stories of his father’s time with the Aggies, was constantly regaled by the stores he heard from his old man. The story of a fumble recovery against UNLV was one of the older Radford’s favorites to share. Another tale of how the coaches at the time took advantage of his deafness during the heat of battle was also enthralling.
“My dad’s deaf, he can’t hear anything but he reads lips well,” Radford explains. “So the coaches would give him binoculars to watch the other coaches, so he could figure out what they’re saying. I always thought it was the funniest thing ever.”
Since hanging up the cleats and the jersey – which has been pulled off the hanger for Bryce’s Halloween costume – Curtis has kept the university as a major part of his family’s life. After achieving a doctorate in deaf studies and deaf education from Lamar University in Texas, Curtis has been a leading faculty member of USU’s deaf education program.
Whereas some kids go to school to get away from their parents, Radford will have a harder time doing so on campus in Logan.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to escape from my dad up there, honestly,” he laughs.
Finally getting to live up to his father’s legacy for the hometown team has been a rush for Radford. Coming onto a team that won 10 games for the fourth time in school history, Radford is confident that the Aggies can build on their current success.
“I know that that the kids in the ‘22 class are recruited to work,” he says of his fellow future Aggies, including himself. “There are some really good kids in there and I just know that we’re going to keep this going how it is now.”
Soon, he’ll have an Aggies uniform of his own and won’t need to borrow his dad’s to make a cool costume. But as for whether he’ll get to wear No. 93, that likely won’t happen due to his position on the field.
“That would be cool,” Radford says. “But on the offensive side, I don’t think that could be a possibility.”