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Former THS Bulldog expected to see NFL action
Former Fresno State (and Turlock High) Bulldog and new Denver Bronco, Tom Brandstater, will have his professional football career debut against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday. - photo by Photo Contributed
The inevitable is here: Tom Brandstater, the former Turlock High and Fresno State standout quarterback, will play in an NFL game. It will happen Friday, when his Denver Broncos face the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in preseason action at 7 p.m.
Considering the game doesn’t count in the record books and several players from both teams are still vying for a roster spot, Brandstater, who recently signed a professional contract, will likely get some field time.
This is a moment his father, William, can’t miss.
He said he hasn’t missed any of his son’s games, ever.
“I’m living the dream,” said William, who visited his son’s new home in Denver recently. “I’m living every man’s dream. I don’t think there’s any man out there who doesn’t want his son to play professional football.”
Though he has the body and arm to have a long pro career, experts say Brandstater will need some time. Right now, he’s playing behind starter Kyle Orton and backup Chris Simms.
But Brandstater appears to be in an ideal situation. His coach, Josh McDaniels, was the New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before taking on his current position. In his previous job, the coach developed backup Matt Cassel from a college benchwarmer into a $63 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Some, including his former coaches in Turlock, have said McDaniels can do the same for Brandstater.
But first he has to get past his first preseason game.
“I don’t know what else I can say, it’s so unreal,” William Brandstater said. “It’s almost like, ‘Is this actually happening?’ He really looks good out there. Some people in Denver say he’s the next John Elway. They love him. He has McDaniels, who groomed Tom Brady and Matt Cassel.
“Now, he’s going to groom Tom.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.