Temple University linebacker Shaun Bradley is gaining national attention with his play. — PHOTO COURTESY OF TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

Temple University linebacker Shaun Bradley is gaining national attention with his play. — PHOTO COURTESY OF TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

If you have seen Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley play, then you know why he’s receiving a lot of national attention. Bradley has recently been named to the Bednarik Watch List and the Nagurski Trophy Watch List for his outstanding play with the Owls.

“It’s definitely a great honor,” Bradley said. “I grew up playing NCAA [a football video game]. I always look at those kinds of awards and personally it’s good. But I don’t [get] focused too much on that kind of stuff. I just kind of take it day-by-day and try to win games. It’s a good honor.”

Bradley, a 6-foot-1, 231-pounder, comes into his final season as the Owls’ active leader with 169 tackles. He’s averaging more than 80 tackles a season while starting 25 games over the last two seasons. He’s also been a great playmaking linebacker with 2.0 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Temple’s first-year head coach Rod Carey noticed something about Bradley’s work ethic which has contributed to his success.

“He loves to practice,” Carey said. “When you listen to Shaun, he’s having fun at practice.”

The old adage is practice makes perfect. Bradley can hardly wait to get to practice.

“I love getting better,” Bradley said. “I love working at it. I’m just trying to win. That’s why I’m shaking right now because I’m ready to get out there.”

A year ago, Temple finished with an overall 8-5 record and a 7-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference. The Owls made their fourth consecutive bowl appearance. They played in the Independence Bowl.

Temple would like to make another run at a bowl appearance this season. In addition to Bradley, the Owls have a host of great players returning from last year’s team such as offensive lineman Jovahn Fair (Outland Trophy), offensive lineman Matt Hennessy (Wuerffel Trophy, Rimington Award), offensive lineman Jovahn Fair (Outland Trophy), linebacker Chapelle Russell (Butkus Award), quarterback Anthony Russo (Maxwell Award), wide receiver/return specialist Isaiah Wright (Hornung Award) and tight end Kenny Yeboah (Mackey Award). These players, like Bradley, are on national award watch lists.

Temple will host Bucknell in the season opener at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, Aug. 31. The kickoff will be at 3 p.m. Bradley is preparing for his last season with the Owls.

“I’m a senior now,” said Bradley, who is from Rancocas Valley High School in New Jersey. “I always used to hear when you’re a senior it’s going to be a different urgency. You only have six months. As soon as I became a senior, and it starts getting closer to camp, I start think about it.”

Bradley is looking forward to a big senior year at Temple.

dhunt@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5719

dhunt@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5719

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