There Garrett Bradbury sat, in the summer of 2017 after his redshirt sophomore season.
He was appreciative of an internship en route to completing his degree in business supply operations management the following December.
The only thing was, as he explained during his Vikings introductory press conference, it didn’t create the spark that football does.
“I got an internship with Lenovo, thinking I was going to go into the supply chain of business, and it was a good internship, did pretty well, and left that summer like, ‘I’ve got to stay around football-minded people the rest of my life,’ ” Bradbury said. “Nothing against them; I just think my calling is through sports, through football specifically, and so from then, I was like, ‘I’m going to make it in the NFL, and then after that, or if that doesn’t work out for some reason, I’m going to coach.’ I just love being around locker rooms, I love being around football guys.”
Bradbury moved to center at N.C. State in the fall of 2017. He received a team award for a making a vital contribution in an unsung role.
By the end of 2018, his praises were sung from coast-to-coast, as evidenced by him winning the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center among all FBS players, an invitation to the Senior Bowl, an impressive showing of athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine and lofty projections that predicted he would be selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Players projected as high as Bradbury were invited to Nashville for the opening night of the draft, but rather than basking in the neon glow of Lower Broadway and making the televised two-step across a custom-built stage in front of thousands in Music City, Bradbury opted for his family’s South Carolina home, just south of Charlotte, North Carolina.
He sat in the middle of a couch surrounded by friends and family and former coaches, the latter of which also classify as friends and family.
When the call came in, the room went silent.