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ASU Football: Bradford's official decision coming soon

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Arizona State's Carl Bradford has a tough choice to make regarding his NFL draft status.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

For Arizona State's Carl Bradford, the wait is nearly over. Whether Bradford is ready or not, the redshirt junior will make his decision on whether or not he'll declare for the 2014 NFL Draft by Wednesday Jan. 15.

The 15th is the deadline for underclassmen to file paperwork declaring their eligibility for the upcoming NFL Draft. Bradford's decision will likely come sooner than the Wednesday deadline, as many of his peers have already decided to make the leap.

A record number of underclassmen have announced their intent to enter the draft surpassing the previous high of 73 set last year. In the past few days, there have been rumblings about the grade Bradford received from an NFL Draft advisory committee and his potential draft status.

An NFL.com article released on Saturday morning indicated that Bradford will return to Arizona State for his senior season. However, neither Arizona State or Bradford has announced his decision.

On Friday, a Tweet surfaced from @NFLDraftTracker that suggested Bradford received a second-round grade from the Draft advisory committee.

Despite Bradford's grade standing alone in this Tweet, @NFLDraftTracker clarified his statements and said that this was the personal grade he gave Bradford, not an official grade.

FOXSportsArizona's Tyler Lockman reported later on Friday that he spoke with a source who said one committee member who graded Bradford pegged him as a third-round prospect.

A high draft grade could make all the difference for Bradford who will surely impress scouts and evaluators at the NFL Combine.

As a redshirt junior, Bradford compiled a team-high 19.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. His tenacity as an edge rusher made Arizona State better in both run and pass defense, and having him back for the 2014 season would be a tremendous boost for the Sun Devils.

As it stands, the Sun Devils are already losing eight starters on defense and Bradford would be the ninth if he declared for the NFL Draft. Again, Bradford's decision must come by Wednesday so Arizona State will know the fate of its top underclassman soon.