Brady plans to extend his football career after U

By By Chris Kamrani

By Chris Kamrani

Like the Spartans in the film “300,” the sport of football needs everyone, meaning all 11 players, to work as one to make their phalanx impenetrable. The U defense saw a key component of the phalanx fall a few weeks ago. Senior linebacker Kyle Brady is that component. Go figure. The guy is built as a Spartan, and if he had a full-fledged beard slapped on, he would be the spitting image of King Leonidas.

Brady, who has graduated with a degree in exercise science, has seen his senior year end tragically. His season was cut short during the 44-35 victory at Louisville, Ky., when Brady planned to spring toward a defender. Instead of making the tackle, Brady experienced a ruptured Achilles’ tendon — which is often regarded as the most painful injury in all of sports.

“In football, there are just so many bad-breaks, but you just got to deal with it and move on,” said Brady, who ended a stellar collegiate career with an injury.

A high-touted prospect coming out of high school, Brady was named “Mr. Football” of Utah in 2002 and led Tooele High School to a 3-A state championship his senior year. Brady was an incredibly versatile player as he rushed for 1,400 yards and picked off 15 passes his senior year. He is also the Utah high school record holder for career interceptions with 31.

After high school, Pac-10 schools recruited Brady as a safety. Brady, however, had his heart on settling down into a strictly offensive role. Enter BYU vs. Utah. Heavily recruited by BYU, Brady had many friends who attempted to persuade him to head to the promised land of Provo, but they were unsuccessful.

“I always knew this was the place for me,” Brady said. “I love the U.”

Though you wouldn’t know it by looking at him, Brady was a soccer player until the sixth grade. That is until he started playing football. It was American football that grabbed Brady’s attention in the end and his career took off from there.

After spending his freshman year as a redshirt, in which he started to develop as a running back and wide receiver, Brady burst onto the scene as an intricate part of the linebacker corps and special teams. Brady described the Utes’ Disney-movie type run of 2004 season as a “once in a lifetime” experience and that he was lucky to get to play with the likes of Morgan Scalley, Eric Weddle and Alex Smith.

Brady spoke about the changing of the guard when former head coach Urban Meyer, along with current Utes head coach, then-defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham, had brought a winning mentality to the program.

“Coach Meyer and Whit brought in guys that wanted to play here and be successful here,” Brady said.

The notion of “we can beat anyone at anytime” was at the forefront of Brady’s mind and it has rubbed off on the rest of the U football program as well.

Brady is the epitome of a selfless leader. Though he said he doesn’t know what the most impressive feat was during his football career at the U, he managed to unleash his reserved tenacity a bit.

“If we win and I get one tackle, I’m great, but if we lose and I have 11 tackles, it wasn’t good enough,” Brady said.

In simpler terms, Brady is the team player every coach wants playing for his team and the guy with whom every teammate wants to play.

“No matter what, you still gotta roll with the punches and go out and play,” Brady said. “Everything else doesn’t matter once you’re out on the field.”

The most difficult part of the early ending to his senior year is the inability to play in the Utah-BYU game, especially after last season’s loss to the Cougars, Brady said. He is hungrier than ever to beat BYU, even though he cannot participate. He said he thrives on playing in Provo and went on to dub the Cougar fans as “comical” because of the way they attempt to goad the U players.

Now, Brady is limited to the use of crutches and must endure watching his trusted teammates battle day in and day out. As a senior, he tries to help the younger guys and keep them focused on the game, but sometimes it’s just “too hard to watch,” Brady said.

Brady said he will return to watch U games in the future.

“I’ll be at every game,” he said. “I have seven little brothers, so I hope I can get one of them up here.”

“Hopefully the Achilles’ gets healed, (I) get back on track and possibly extend my career in football,” Brady said about his after-school plans.

Brady had countless positives directed toward the fans who have supported and endured over the years. He said the MUSS gets better every year.

Brady signs off on a magical collegiate career at the U in a different way than he expected, but still feels lucky enough to do what he has done. Possibly one of the most versatile defensive players in the history of the program, Brady has shown what it takes to win and more importantly what it means to be a good teammate.

When asked about his prediction for the “Holy War” between BYU and Utah on Nov. 24, Brady laughed, shook his head and said, “For 60 minutes, all hell breaks loose.”

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Lennie Mahler

Kyle Brady suffered a season-ending injury when he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in Louisville.