First impressions made a difference in the recruitment of Godby High quarterback J.T. Bradwell.
Bradwell, who directed the Cougars to the Class 5A state title last season, verbally committed to Liberty University on Monday morning.
While Bradwell enjoyed his visit to the school’s campus in Lynchburg, Va., two weekends ago, the senior was swayed by Flames coach Turner Gill’s trip to Tallahassee earlier this month.
Gill watched Bradwell and the Cougars upended perennial power Jacksonville Trinity Christian, 42-6, on Oct. 11 at Cox Stadium.
“For coach Turner to come down here and watch me play, that really made an impression on me,” said Bradwell, who had 240 passing yards and accounted for three touchdowns in the win over Trinity Christian.
“And when I visited Liberty, I really loved the family atmosphere and knew it was the best place for me.”
Bradwell, a two-year stater for the Cougars, is enjoying another banner season.
Godby (8-1) recently clinched the District 2-5A title and has won its past seven games. Bradwell, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, has passed for 1,597 yards with 18 touchdowns and rushed for 489 yards and five scores.
Both Godby and Liberty employ fast-paced, spread offenses.
“We fully trust J.T. with the offense,” said Godby quarterbacks coach Joe Labrador, who also attended Liberty University.
“There are times we are in a bad play and he gets us in the right play. That comes with maturity.”
Bradwell will also have the opportunity to learn under one of college football’s top quarterbacks in Gill.
Gill guided the Nebraska Cornhuskers to a 28-2 record and an unblemished 20-0 record in conference play (1980-83). He led Nebraska to three straight Orange Bowl appearances. Gill was also the head coach at Buffalo and Kansas before behind hired at Liberty University in December, 2011.
Liberty is currently 4-4 and its roster also features former Lincoln High running back D.J. Abnar.
Godby coach Ronnie Cottrell credited Bradwell’s character and work ethic.
“He’s a great teammate, all the players love him,” Cottrell said.
“He keeps developing new qualities as a quarterback. He has a tremendous arm, quick release and is a good-running quarterback. But his best strength is the type of person he is. He has great character and is very dependable.”