Brady a vital part of Mavs' defense, special teams
When Michael Brady was looking at colleges, he considered the University of Nebraska-Kearney before choosing Colorado Mesa University.
Four years later, Brady is a starting defensive back for one of the former Kearney assistant football coaches he met on his recruiting trip there.
“It’s wild how things turned out,” Brady said. “I do remember meeting coach (Russ) Martin on my recruiting visit (to Kearney). He’s a great guy. My dad and I had great things to say about him. He’s such an optimistic guy. Even meeting him for just one day, you get a feel for what kind of guy he is. It’s awesome to play for someone like that.”
Martin remembered meeting Brady during that Kearney visit. Although he didn’t know him much then, Martin is happy to have Brady on his team now.
“He’s a leader on and off the field,” Martin said. “He can run; he can throw the football. He can do several things, but he is also a very good punter. He’s a young man that has bought in and is emerging as a very good player for us.”
As one of 12 seniors on the team, Brady is teased often by his roommates and teammates for being “old,” even though he’s not the oldest in the same house he shares with fellow defensive backs Travis McRae, Jordan Price and Tyler Winder.
“He’s the grandpa out of the group,” Price said with a smile. “He’s always breaking down.
“It’s nothing bad. You can tell in the game he works hard. He always comes home with cuts, and his back hurts. That’s why we give him the grandpa speech, but he takes it well.”
When asked about his roommates and teammates, Brady said, “That’s what keeps us in the dynamic that we have. We all click in certain ways. There is never a dull moment. It’s always fun around our house.”
Brady is also the most even-keeled, level-headed guy in the house.
“He’s more of the mellow dude,” Price said. “If you look at his posts on Twitter, it’s more of an inspirational quote or something like that. He keeps us all together in the house. That’s just how he is.”
Brady said he’s always been into inspirational quotes like this one he posted on Twitter: “Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you’ve ever imagined.”
Brady, one of the Colorado Mesa team captains, is a vital part of the Mavericks. He is a starting safety, plays special teams and is the team’s punter. He is a two-time RMAC All-Academic defensive back and punter.
He’s a rare breed, being a defensive back and punter, but it’s not so unusual for him. His dad, Kevin, was a safety and punter at Utah State.
“I guess it’s unusual, but I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Brady said. “It definitely sparks questions every once in a while from people. It raises some eyebrows.
“The biggest thing for me when I’m playing DB and I get a chance to punt, I’m usually a lot more warm and stretched out. I’m not waiting on the sideline to kick. It’s another aspect of the game for me, another aspect to help the team.”
Brady is fourth in the RMAC with an average of 43.2 yards per punt. His long is 57 yards, and he has successfully executed two fake punts.
“He’s an outstanding punter,” Martin said. “He and Frosty (long snapper Jake Edmiston) make such a phenomenal team on the punt. He’s very athletic. That’s why we give him some options with the fake. His athletic ability has a lot to do with that.”
Brady is confident he can make a play on a fake punt, but he gives credit to his teammates.
“Every time I get a chance I do the best I can to make the most of it,” Brady said. “It helps a ton, but it also helps to have guys buy in and block for me. It’s usually 10 other guys blocking for me. I just get the credit.”
Brady is third on the team with 28 tackles. He has two interceptions and has broken up four passes.
“He’s a great kid,” CMU defensive coordinator Todd Auer said. “He comes every day to go to work. He practices hard. He’s improved so much from last year with his tackling. The second year, understanding defenses always helps. He’s got a heck of a DB coach (Tanner Tetrault), and that’s helped.
“I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a great character kid. He does things right and is one of the leaders of the defense.”
His character and leadership are instrumental in the Mavericks’ efforts to become a winning program again.
“The main thing is in the past it’s kind of been accepted to lose,” Brady said. “We got down and lost confidence in the team. We’re starting to get that back. We believe now we can win any game we go into. That’s the main difference. We expect to win. Anything less is not what we want.”