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October 16, 2013
The 26th CSU Sports Hall of Fame banquet, sponsored by the Ram Alumni Athletes Association, is set for 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Fort Collins Hilton.
Bradlee Van Pelt was a one-of-a-kind quarterback at CSU, so his inclusion in the school’s Sports Hall of Fame was all but assured.
For three years following his transfer from Michigan State, Van Pelt was a living, breathing symbol of CSU football. Fans and teammates loved him for his fearless play, and opponents feared him for his ability to will the Rams to victory.
His accomplishments as a quarterback are unrivaled. He still holds the career (2001-03) record for total offense at CSU with 8,579 yards, and he’s the only player in school history to twice be named Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year (2002-03).
He’s the only player in CSU history to rank in the school’s top 12 in both passing (6,271, 6th) and rushing (2,308, 11th) yards – testament to his ability to change a game with his arm or his legs.
Van Pelt grew up in a football family. His father, Brad, was an All-American linebacker at Michigan State who went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL. Bradlee, though, had a different plan: He wanted to play quarterback.
After growing up in California and then following his dad to Michigan State for a year, Van Pelt looked for a new start at CSU. Rams coach Sonny Lubick happily took him in and eventually built his offense around the 6-foot-3, 220-pound standout.
Van Pelt’s greatest attribute might have been his competitive drive. He won more games (23) than any quarterback in CSU history, and led the Rams to three consecutive bowl games. He is the last quarterback to lead the Rams to a conference title, 2002.
Van Pelt closed his career as only the fourth player in NCAA history to pass for more than 5,000 yards and run for more than 2,000. He played in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl all-star games following the 2003 season.
He was taken in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and spent a year in the NFL with both the Broncos and Houston Texans.
Van Pelt is one of six former CSU standouts being inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame. Other honorees include Joey Porter (football), Willis Holland (football and wrestling), Marne Findlay (track and cross country), Allison Peckham (volleyball) and Ralph Hutton (swimming).
Tickets for the annual banquet are $70 for RAAA members, $75 for non-members. They can be purchased online or by calling (877) 498-7787.