Bradley Mickey is in the midst of his fifth year at Cal Poly. He seems to be making the most of his time there.

Mickey, who graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2016, is a senior on the Mustang football team. He's also set to graduate this spring after majoring in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration while simultaneously earning minor degrees in both Psychology and Sales.

Mickey has also developed into a leader in the defensive secondary, trying to help his unit in any way he can.

"With the young guys that we have, it's great to be in a position to mentor them and see this group grow in the short amount of time that we've had together," Mickey said at the team's second practice of the fall last week. "It's going to be a special group over the next couple years. I'd love to be around them and help them grow into the best players that they can be while I'm still here."

Theoretically, Mickey could earn an additional year of eligibility as the NCAA has given an extra year to players affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Mickey said he'd have to join a masters program to continue playing as he's set to graduate next year. 

"I'd love to play as long as possible, but ultimately it's not up to me," he said. "We'll see what happens."

Mickey has spent some time pondering what he'll do once he leaves the game of football behind. 

"I'd like to get into the scouting department of some NFL team and work my way up from there," he said. "Or it could be something in tech sales. I had a great internship over the summer in that area, so tech sales is definitely something that I'm really interested in. We'll see, it could also be running a business somewhere and being on the business side of an organization."

Clearly, though, Mickey is ready for another year of football at his hometown school. The former Arroyo Grande standout has patiently developed into a contributor on the team. He had his most productive season last year, making 21 total tackles in 11 games, coming up with his first career interception. 

Mickey has played in 23 games with the Mustangs after red-shirting in 2016. He's made 32 career tackles, with one tackle-for-loss, one fumble recovery and four pass break-ups. 

With first-year coach Beau Baldwin installing a new defensive coaching staff, Mickey has changed positions. 

"They've got me at field safety, which is more in space. Last year they had me at boundary corner, which is more in the box," Mickey said last week. "I like playing field a little bit more. It's nice to get out there and get in the open field and use your instincts to make some plays. I'll use that to my advantage and see what we can do."

Mickey shined in space while playing at Arroyo Grande, intercepting 21 passes in his prep career. He also made 205 total tackles and was a factor on offense with the Eagles, producing 3,484 all-purpose yards and 24 offensive touchdowns, with six defensive touchdowns. 

"I love it," Mickey said of the defensive scheme the Mustangs are employing this year. "We're going to be flying around and we're trying to simplify things but still bring a lot of different looks at the offenses we face. It's a unique defense, it's different and it's a style that plays to the players' strengths. The staff came in and is looking at what we're good at and teaching us all the ropes in a short amount of time."

Cal Poly will open its 2021 season with a pair of contests inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium, hosting Southern Utah on Feb. 27 and UC Davis in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe on March 6.

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