Oscar Bradburn, a native of Australia, celebrates the one-year anniversary of his commitment to Tech and how it has changed his life
Close to a year ago today, I committed to playing football and studying at Virginia Tech. Being from a completely different background in Sydney, Australia, I questioned my ability to go forth and be successful in the environment that my peers had lived in their whole lives. I devoted a year away from my family and friends to work toward something that I had no previous experience with, and this was probably the most courageous aspect of my journey to college football today. Although it has only been nine months since I arrived in Blacksburg, I can already guarantee that lessons I’ve been taught through football will stay with me for life. The practice atmosphere is far beyond what my expectations were, being far more intense with detail and effort than I had ever experienced.
The support I have been receiving over the last few months from the coaching staff, friends, family, and Hokie Nation, all in preparation for the season, has been incredible. In all honesty, the sense of care I had received from everybody in the lead-up to this season has been essential in ensuring I was ready for what was to come and what I should expect. Despite this, nothing could be said to change the fact that I was debuting in front of a packed FedExField in a game that has so much history in its rivalry. In the oncoming weeks to round 1, coaches of Tech football would share stories about why winning against West Virginia meant so much to them, the school, the fans, and the entire state of Virginia.
Driving from the hotel to the game, the importance of what was about to take place really sunk in when I saw the highways leading to the stadium completely piled with traffic, not to mention people tailgating as far as I could see. Being on the field, however, I felt a strange calmness to everything, like it was another day in scrimmages. This is the point at which I realized how well prepared I was by our coaches for everything that was to come, knowing exactly how to go and execute my role on the field for the purpose of helping the team. Not having a great deal of knowledge on the game before I arrived, it has been really important and greatly appreciated the way coaches of Virginia Tech football have fostered a way for me to thrive under their program for now and in future years. It’s for these reasons that I have found a new home in Blacksburg.