At the controls

Photo by Scott AllenMichael Bradford, right, throws a pass in Friday's scrimmage against New Prairie. The Michigan City junior ran for a touchdown and threw for two.

MICHIGAN CITY —  "Region Tim Tebow."

As Michael Bradford was heading out of Ames Field after Friday's scrimmage with New Prairie, quarterbacks coach Colin Yarnelle made the comparison between Michigan City's signal-caller and the former Florida QB who is currently toiling as a minor league baseball player.

Asked if he was OK with that analogy, the Wolves junior smiled and said, 'Yeah.'

Admittedly a running back (with major college aspirations) who happens to be taking snaps, Bradford will likely do more damage with his feet than with his arm, but don't sell short his ability to spin the football.

"I don't want to be a quarterback who can just throw a few routes," Bradford said. "I'm working my way up through the process so I can become a quarterback who can do all of those things."

It didn't take Bradford long to display his versatility. He kept the ball for 16 yards on the first snap, then found Demetrius Garrett for a 30-yard score on play seven. Later in the opening sequence, he raced 65 yards for another touchdown. He added a 35-yarder to Kaydarious Jones late in the scrimmage.

"These guys like to work," Bradford said of his fleet corps of pass catchers. "I give them the ball, they make a play."

A running back last season, Bradford isn't new to being a quarterback. He played it in seventh, eighth and ninth grade before sliding in next to Bryce Hayman in the backfield in 2018.

"I love it. I'm growing into it a lot," Bradford said. "I feel like I'm a little more in control. I know what's going on from playing a lot of positions."

Wolves coach Phil Mason liked what he saw of all of his quarterbacks, with Bradford leading the way.

"Mike had some real nice throws, a couple nice runs," Mason said. "He was real positive through the night, which is huge."

Considerably bigger at 220 pounds, Bradford credits a healthier diet, more water and more home-cooked meals for his physique, which gives him the ability to carry the ball in a crowd as well as in space.

"I can get the job done," Bradford said. "We just have to clean the little things up. If we can do that, it can lead to big plays. I spoke to Bryce, I spoke to (previous QB) Mike McCullough to get a few tips, things they used to do. They told me, 'Don't get too up or down, just be me.' That was the biggest thing."

With another offense flashing an array of big-play talent, Bradford is excited to be at the controls.

"This is just the beginning," he said.

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