Newson, Bradley Ready for Saturday's Hula Bowl

February 1, 2002 · MT Media Relations
Seniors Jykine Bradley and Kendall Newson will be putting on their Middle Tennessee silver helmet for the last time Saturday when they compete in the 2002 Hula Bowl Maui All-Star Football Classic in Maui, Hawaii. The game will be played at War Memorial Stadium and can be seen live on ESPN beginning at 7 PM CST and will also be broadcast nationally on Westwood One/CBS Radio.

Newson and Bradley will both play for the South team, which is being coached by Bob Stoops and capable assistants Steve Spurrier, Joe Taylor and Dick Tomey. Dennis Erickson is directing the North team.

"It's been a great experience down here," Newson said. "We have had a full schedule with practice, community functions and various get-togethers. There are a lot of good players down here, but I have had a good week of work and feel very confident heading into the game. This is a big opportunity for Jykine (Bradley) and myself, so we plan on making the best of it and representing Middle Tennessee in the proper way."

Newson is one of four wide receivers on the South team, along with Daryl Jones (Miami), Joshua Norman (Oklahoma), and Craig Stutzman (Hawaii). Bradley joins Ahmad Brooks (Texas), Jermaine Chatman (Arizona), and Dante Wesley (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) as the squad's only corners.

Bradley and Newson become the first players in Middle Tennessee history to compete in the Hula Bowl All-Star Football Classic since Jamie Redmond in 1993. The pair is also the first Blue Raiders to participate in a postseason all-star game since Kelly Holcomb in 1994 (Blue-Gray Game).

Bradley led the Blue Raiders for the second straight season in interceptions with four. The Knoxville, TN, native was fourth on the team in tackles with 53 to go along with a team and career-high 18 pass deflections.

Newson, the school's all-time leading receiver, paced the team in receptions this past year with 65 while snaring a career best seven touchdowns. In one of the more memorable performances in school history, Newson keyed a dramatic comeback victory against New Mexico State by recording seven catches for 119 in the fourth quarter alone.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for Jykine and Kendall," Middle Tennessee Head Coach Andy McCollum said. "We could not find two better people to represent our university at this prestigious game. This is a chance for them to continue their playing career and we wish them the very best."

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