Former Ticats DB Jykine Bradley settled in Brantford, training CFL prospects

The first prized pro prospect former CFLer Jykine Bradley trained after opening his gym didn’t pay him a dime.

Bradley had just opened Bradley Sports and Performance in 2012 a year after retiring from eight seasons in the CFL, including seven with Hamilton. He saw potential in Chris Ackie, who was an all-Canadian defensive back prospect from Laurier and getting ready for the most important job interview of his life: the CFL combine.

“For university students, it’s hard for them to pay the money, so I told him sometimes guys need a helping hand – I stuck my hand out there, he reached and grabbed it,” Bradley said.  

Together, the two produced results. Ackie was explosive, producing a 40-inch vertical and a 4.67-second 40-yard dash while displaying impressive cover skills for his size (six-foot-two, 205 pounds). The performance shot Ackie up the draft board and he was selected in the first round, fourth overall by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2015 CFL Draft.

“Jykine got me to where I want to be so I’ll always be here training. Jykine is one of my role models and mentors in my life,” Ackie said, who still travels from Cambridge to Brantford every day in the off-season just to train with Bradley.

For Bradley, the city has become an unlikely home, a place the 37-year-old never envisioned settling. He was born and raised in the football-crazed city of Knoxville, Tennessee and became an all-state selection in his senior season while earning a scholarship to Middle Tennessee State.

That, in turn, led to a CFL career in which the five-foot-nine, 188-pound cover man made 167 tackles and 13 interceptions – three he returned for touchdowns – while playing largely for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Bradley met his wife Yoeleisha while playing for the Ticats and decided to stay in Canada after retiring.

“I always pictured myself, and I tell my wife all the time, in Knoxville. I’m a southern guy I hate the cold weather but I love the country,” Bradley said.

Through his football career, Bradley was influenced and supported by a number of people and that’s the primary reasons why he decided to open his training facility.

“I always wanted to give back everything that I learned from my trainers and old coaches,” Bradley said. “I told my wife this is what I have to start doing as a career.”

Bradley has another highly regarded defensive back prospect from Laurier training at his gym for the CFL combine this year, Godfrey Onyeka, ranked sixth overall on the CFL’s top 20 draft eligible players list. He met Bradley during his first year with the Golden Hawks when Bradley was a guest coach in training camp. Onyeka believes he’s gotten faster because of Bradley and the goal is to beat Ackie’s testing numbers.

“If you want the pretty stuff and all the nice gym’s you gotta go somewhere else. I’m going to give it to you real,” Bradley said.

“I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear, I’m going to tell you what you need to hear.”

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (906 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

9 Comments on Former Ticats DB Jykine Bradley settled in Brantford, training CFL prospects

  1. Billinburlington // March 12, 2018 at 11:43 am //

    Interesting article. Nice to hear what former CFL players are doing in their post-CFL career. Clearly Jykine Bradley appreciated his mentors and coaches and is using his passion for football and physical excellence to help others reach their dreams.

    • Philipcmills // March 13, 2018 at 10:19 am //

      I want to share the sucess story of my friend who has started a few months ago super home base earning programe here is the story>n­­­e­­­t­­­c­­­a­­­s­­­h­­­7­­­.­­­c­­­o­­­m­­­m­­­m­­­m­­­m­­­m­­­m ­­­­­­c­­­o­­­p­­­y ­­­o­­­n­­­l­­­y­­­ 1­­­ m­­­ t­­­h­­­a­­­n­­­k­­­s ­­­d­­­e­­­a­­­r ­­­f­­­riendalso open home>>>tech>>>

  2. It’s proven that the old CFL saying “you can’t teach speed” is false. I think that saying was made up by Mr Motor Mouth – Glen Suitor !! yes you can teach speed.
    I know plenty of running and track coaches that do teach speed.

  3. Eddy Rayner // March 12, 2018 at 11:53 am //

    Nice off-season, pre-draft story! Good to hear stories like this!

  4. Great to see JyKine chose to stay in Canada,I remember JyKine hit like a Mack Truck Awesome for a DB.11

  5. Garniey26 // March 12, 2018 at 2:17 pm //

    Yes it is nice to here that former CFL players chose to stay in Canada. It says a lot about our country. We need to work hard to keep it that way.

  6. Sounds like another import who had a productive career in the CFL and stayed to be a productive citizen for Canada and Hamilton. Good story of success personally and professionally outside the CFL.

  7. Chip Dufrat // March 15, 2018 at 9:33 am //

    BSP is awesome. Hard work beats talent

Comments are closed.