Brady Conrad had been waiting for his chance for a year and a half.
Even last year as a sophomore walk-on at Arizona State, the Gilbert High and Scottsdale Community College product was hoping to make an impact.
However, with current Oakland Raider Zach Miller and his brother, Brent, ahead of Conrad on the depth chart, there weren’t enough catches to go around. Also, he was just too raw to make a significant difference.
“When I came here, (former kicker) Jesse Ainsworth was more of a tight end than I was,” Conrad said.
But Conrad continued to put in work, and has taken advantage of more playing time in recent weeks as Brent Miller fights a knee injury.
On Saturday against Washington State, Conrad had four receptions for 36 yards and his first career touchdown.
“‘I’ve waited a long time for this,” Conrad said. “It’s nice to get out there and do what I know I can do.”
Conrad and Tyrice Thompson will continue to split time at tight end for the foreseeable future. Miller will not play this week, and coach Dennis Erickson had no timetable for his return.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
Sophomore cornerback Grant Crunkleton played the role of Washington quarterback Jake Locker Wednesday as the scout team attempted to mirror the offense the Huskies run.
“It’s hard to emulate those guys,” Erickson said. “It’s like facing an option team. You can practice against the old wishbone and things like that, but until you see it live, the speed of it during the game, you don’t know.”
Erickson played it coy when asked if he would institute a spy to watch Locker on passing plays to contain his scrambles.
“I’d have to call the FBI or CIA to see what that means,” Erickson said. “I don’t know if we’d do that or not. Call James Bond.”
Wide receiver Chris McGaha and cornerback Chris Baloney got into a brief shoving match toward the latter stages of practice, but were quickly separated.
Wide receiver Brandon Smith (ankle) practiced after missing Tuesday.