<strong>LOGAN— </strong>Utah State safety McKade Brady has been one of the Aggies leaders throughout the season. The senior from Cove (Sky View HS) is a key cog in a defense that has propelled USU to new heights, and he himself has garnered national honors.
A passionate and vocal leader on the field, Brady has motivated his team in another way during the past few weeks – with silence.
That is because Brady – the Aggies’ third leading tackler – broke his jaw during USU’s monumental win over No. 19 Louisiana Tech back on November 17. Brady suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of the Aggies game against the Bulldogs when he made a <a href=”http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:8645685″ target=”_blank”>touchdown saving tackle</a> on Louisiana Tech wide-receiver Quinton Patton. Somehow Patton’s cleat got inside Brady’s helmet during the tackle, breaking Brady’s mandibular condyle, which also ruptured his eardrum.
Despite the discomfort that injury surely caused, Brady returned to the game and continued making plays for the Aggies who eventually pulled off the upset. He estimates he played 10-15 plays with the injury simply taped up, before he was pulled from the game and forced to watch the overtime period.
“That’s a man right there. He fractured his jaw during the Louisiana Tech game … to come back and finish the game, that’s a man right there,” senior linebacker <a href=”http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/filimoeatu_bojay00.html” target=”_blank”>Bojay Filimoeatu</a> said. “Coming back for his last game, I give all props to him. He’s really a great player, and I look up to him as an individual.”
Following the game, Brady received stitches in the locker room for a cut that started on his lip and ran across his face.
Upon returning from Ruston, <a href=”http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/brady_mckade00.html” target=”_blank”>Brady</a> underwent surgery to reattach his jaw, and his mouth was wired shut. He missed his Senior Day game as Utah State wrapped up the outright WAC Championship and the school’s first ever 10-win season with a 45-9 drubbing of Idaho.
Unsure if he would be able to return this season or not – especially since the Aggies are playing on the first day of bowl games – Brady has been able to return to practice and is prepared to start Saturday in his final collegiate game.
“The docs have done a great job instructing him on how to handle himself. It’s not easy with your jaw wired shut to maintain your weight. I don’t know how he’s done it, but he’s done it. It’s unbelievable,” USU head coach <a href=”http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/andersen_gary00.html” target=”_blank”>Gary Andersen</a> said. “He’s out there practicing, and I don’t know how he breathes at practice with his mouth shut, but I would have a nervous breakdown if I had to do that out there. The mindset right now is that he is the starting safety for the bowl game, which is awesome for that kid.”
One way Brady has been able to maintain his weight, is religiously drinking Muscle Milk and other various shakes as often as 12 times a day for the past few weeks. Despite his best efforts, he still dropped about eight pounds, but will have a couple of days to put some of that weight back on after his wires were removed Wednesday.
“It shows a lot that he’s going to put his body on the line for us. It’s a great thing. Whenever he first got hurt, I was a little bit worried and everybody was like this might be Kado’s last game and all that. In the back of my mind, I was always thinking that he might get another opportunity to play,” USU sophomore QB <a href=”http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/keeton_chuckie00.html” target=”_blank”>Chuckie Keeton</a> said. “Just knowing that he’ll be able to play now – it makes me feel good, just knowing that he’s going to get one more opportunity.”
In three years with the Aggies, Brady has amassed 190 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. He was recently named to the 2012 All-WAC second team, and was the only student-athlete from Utah (and only seventh in Utah State history) to be named to the <a href=”http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/120612aac.html” target=”_blank”>Capital One Academic All-America Division I first-team</a> as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).