500,000 More Reasons to Love American Indian NFL Star Sam Bradford
Soon the hottest ticket at the University of Oklahoma (OU) won’t be for a football game but for a meal at “The Sam Bradford Training Table.” No reservations will be required, but you’ll need to be a student.
Former OU all-America quarterback Sam Bradford, Cherokee, has announced a $500,000 gift to the OU Athletics Department. The donation will support the construction of Headington Hall, OU’s new student housing facility that will open in fall 2013. In recognition of Bradford’s gift, the interior of the new Wagner Dining Hall, located on the first level of Headington Hall, will be named “The Sam Bradford Training Table.” This state-of-the-art dining facility will fulfill the dietary and nutritional needs of all OU student-athletes, not just the residents of Headington Hall, in a vastly expanded modern space.
“My experience at Oklahoma made it possible for me to realize my dreams,” said Bradford. “The coaches, the academic environment and every aspect of being a student-athlete at OU made me a better person. I am honored to give back to a program that did so much for me and hope that in some way this contribution can make it possible for those who follow me to enjoy the same kind of experience I did as a Sooner.”
Bradford was the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. In 26 starts with the Rams, he has completed 545 of 947 passes (67.6%) for 5,676 yards with 24 TDs and 21 INTs. His 354 completions in 2010 surpassed the previous NFL rookie record of 326 established by Peyton Manning in 1998, while his 3,512 yards that season trail only Manning’s 3,739 yards in the NFL rookie record book.
At OU, Bradford enjoyed a sensational sophomore campaign in 2008, triggering a Sooners offense that set an NCAA single-season record with 716 points. In the process, he became one of the most highly decorated players in OU history, winning the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Sammy Baugh Trophy and the Chic Harley Award. He was also named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches in addition to earning AP and Sporting News First Team All-America accolades. The Oklahoma City native concluded his collegiate career holding 15 school records, including marks for passing yards (8,403) and TD passes (88). In total, he completed 604 of 893 passes, finishing his tenure in Norman with a 6.25-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio, one of the best marks in college football history. He also set the NCAA freshman/sophomore record for TD passes during with 86.
“Sam Bradford’s gift is deeply appreciated,” said OU President David L. Boren. “It will help many future participants in OU’s athletics program. Gifts like Sam’s also set an important example for others who have played on our teams in the past.”
Joe Castiglione, OU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics also applauded Bradford’s act of philanthropy.
“Sam Bradford developed into a consummate leader and an award-winning student-athlete at the University of Oklahoma,” said Castiglione. “Sam embraced our incredible tradition here at OU and was relentless in helping his teammates enhance it. In Sam’s typical humble fashion, he continues to serve as a wonderful role model for all OU alumni through his actions and deeds like this generous gift to OU Athletics and Headington Hall. Just as others before him, he leaves a legacy which allows future student-athletes to enjoy that same experience of a lifetime he relished. We appreciate Sam’s commitment to this project that will benefit a wide range of students, and improve the quality of life for the entire OU campus.”
Bradford will be back in action on the gridiron when the NFL season begins this September. He’ll lead the Rams to Detroit to tussle with the Lions in the season opener on September 9.