The college football journey of Daniel Bridge-Gadd isn’t as uncommon as one may think.
A star quarterback at Paradise Valley High who led the Trojans to the brink of a state championship in 2015 would sign with the University of Washington and spend two years in Seattle honing his craft, while getting bigger, stronger and faster.
Unfortunately, only one quarterback and with now four-year starter Jake Browning firmly entrenched as the Huskies’ starter, Bridge-Gadd is back home (sort of) as a member of the NAU Lumberjacks who open their season Saturday at UTEP.
Coming home ?? pic.twitter.com/GAzpHzf6vz
— Daniel Bridge-Gadd (@Pvqb10) March 29, 2018
“Half way through last season I kind of felt like we were going in different directions,” Bridge-Gadd said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat via Skype. “Maybe my window of opportunity there was kind of closing and I wanted to find a new home.”
Enter the Lumberjacks and specifically offensive coordinator Aaron Pflugrad who has helped land some of Arizona’s finest players the past few years.
“Coach Pfluglad is an up-and-coming young coach whose system I think I fit in really well to,” said Bridge-Gadd. “Flagstaff is only a two-hour drive from where my family lives they’ve already been up here for a couple scrimmages.”
While the ‘Jacks return one of the top quarterbacks in school history in senior Case Cookus, there will be opportunity for Bridge-Gadd, a redshirt sophomore, to make an in-game impact, mostly because of his skill set.
“Coming in with Case, he’s a cool guy, we get along great,” he explained. “I can do what the offense wanted to do last year and also some stuff with my legs extending plays.”
— NAU Football (@NAU_Football) August 11, 2018
DBG as the ability to beat you with either his arm or is legs, while Cookus is more of a traditional pocket passer.
Many feel the ‘Jacks have a chance to not only win the Big Sky Conference but potentially make a little noise in the FCS Playoffs later this year and you can expect Bridge-Gadd will have a say in things before it’s all said and done.
On and off the field, Flagstaff feels right.
“I knew I wanted to come home,” Bridge-Gadd explained. “That was a big thing for me.”
NAU was more than happy to put out the welcome mat.