Images from the Utah vs. New Mexico game on Saturday, November 1, 2008.
NEW MEXICO: Dual threat signal caller who started 8 games as a redshirt freshman in 2008 in place of an injured Donovan Porterie...was the team's No. 3 QB last fall, but will look to make an impression on the coaching staff...strong armed, gun-slinger of a passer and a tough, deceptively fast, straight-ahead runner...has worked hard to improve his passing touch and decision-making...smart player who is a vocal leader in QB meetings...is the Lobos' most powerful QB in the weight room...showed his desire to play and competitive spirit by volunteering for special teams duty last fall when he didn't make the QB two-deep...was also the third string QB while redshirting in 2007 and got to see every game situation up close as part of the travel squad...two-time Academic All-MWC honoree (Business Administration major).
2009 (SOPHOMORE): Spent the year as the Lobos' No. 3 QB, but appeared in 7 games as the personal protector on the punt team...was surprisingly strong covering kicks, getting in on 6 tackles (2 solo) and ran for six yards on a fake punt to pick up a first down in the Lobos' victory over Colorado State...Academic All-MWC honoree.
2008 (REDSHIRT FRESHMAN): His teammates' pick for Most Improved Player, he won his first 2 starts and went 3-5 as the starting QB after taking over for injured Donovan Porterie...engineered a dominant running attack that averaged 235 yards/game (16th nationally) after he took over as the starter...made his first career start in week 5, helping the Lobos' overcome a 14-point deficit in their road win at New Mexico State...saw significant action in 2 earlier games, playing the 2nd half vs. TCU and at Tulsa after replacing an injured Porterie late in the 2nd quarters of both games...just 1,037 yards passing (99-184) with 3 TDs and 6 interceptions (100.0 rating) in 10 games, but gave the running game another threat and did a nice job of avoiding turnovers after moving into the starting lineup...averaged 148.1 yards of total offense as a starter, including 42.4 yards rushing (4.8 avg.) and 105.8 yards passing (89-158 - 56%, 2 TD, 2 INT, 102.95 rating)...taking away 7 sacks for 42 yards, he had an 5.4-yard average on his 69 actual rushing attempts (373 yards, 3 TD)...broke off 3 runs of 20+ yards, including gains of 52 and 46 yards...52-yarder was the team's longest of the year and best by a UNM QB since 2005...was much more efficient in the air over the final 6 weeks, hitting 74-123 (60%) passes for 758 yards (126.3/game), 1 TD, and 1 INT for a 112.99 efficiency rating...opened his career with a bang, hitting Chris Hernandez for an 81-yard gain on his first collegiate pass, which came out of his own end zone vs. TCU...it was the longest pass play for the Lobos since 2002....Academic All-MWC honoree.
`08 HIGHLIGHTS: at Colorado State...Career-highs of 204 yards on 23-39 passing and 0 INTs...14-24 for 125 yards in the 4th quarter...also had 25 yards rushing on 8 carries for a career-high 229 yards of total offense...vs. No. 9 Utah...Gutsy performance against one of the nation's premier defenses...played the entire game after sharing snaps with Tate Smith the previous 3 weeks...completed 16-25 for 165 yards and 0 INTs...excellent job of spreading the ball around, hitting 7 different receivers...also had 62 yards rushing (2 sacks - 18 yards) on a game-high 16 attempts...227 yards of total offense...took several big hits early, but never lost his composure...vs. San Diego State...Turned in one of his best games of the season, racking up 134 yards of total offense and accounting for 3 TDs...8-11 passing for 92 yards and a 19-yard TD for a season-high 172.98 efficiency rating...42 yards (6.0 avg.) and 2 TDs on 7 rushing attempts and was not sacked...got the Lobos on the board with a 20-yard TD on the opening drive following a 22-yard shovel pass...found the end zone again when he took a QB sneak 13 yards on a 4th-and-1 play... at No. 8 BYU...Fine performance in an intimidating environment...hit 8-12 passes for 86 yards and 0 interceptions...found TE Chris Mark for a long of 23 to convert a 3rd-and-14 play...also added 33 yards rushing on 5 carries and didn't take any sacks...took the bulk of the snaps, but rotated some with back-up Tate Smith...vs. Wyoming...Excellent job engineering the Lobos' 317-yard rushing performance on a rainy night...finished with a career-high 81 yards on 8 carries, including a long of 52 on a scramble...dove in from a yard out for his first career TD 3 plays later...8-19 passing for 33 yards, but no interceptions...at New Mexico State...Just 55 yards passing (7-16, 1 TD, 1 INT) in his first career start, but didn't make any major mistakes and sparked the offense in the 4th quarter with his hard-nosed running...kept the ball on a read-option play and went 46 yards - dragging the DB the final 10 - on his first carry of the 4th quarter...threw an 18-yard TD two plays later...finished with 53 yards rushing on 6 carries (minus 1 sack for 9 yards).
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2007 graduate of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz...led Hamilton to the 2006 Arizona Class 5A state title...the Huskies were 13-1, the only loss coming at powerful Massillon, Ohio, in September in front of 21,000 fans...completed 63% of his passes for 2,585 yards, 27 TDs and just five interceptions...missed nearly all of his junior year after suffering a torn ACL on the fifth play of the season...played for coach Steve Belles...also played baseball, earning all-district honors as a sophomore when Hamilton was state runner-up.
PERSONAL: Born Aug. 18, 1988, in Scottsdale, Ariz...full name is Bradley Dawson Gruner...son of Ed and Laura...older brother Mark played football at Mesa State (Colo.)...major is Business Administration.