CSU Rams

Throwback Thursday: Bradlee Van Pelt spikes on a CU player


Bradlee Van Pelt is the man. At least, in the eyes of Colorado State Rams Football fans.

Van Pelt is the most iconic Rams player in the last 20 years – though Rashard Higgins is likely the best – and maybe nothing solidified the former quarterback's legacy quite like his spike on the helmet of a University of Colorado player.

But first, let's rewind a bit to set the scene.

In 2001, Van Pelt's sophomore season, the No. 24 Rams were killed by Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Showdown 41-14. Losing to the in-state rival is one thing, but having it happen in blowout fashion stings.

But in 2002, it was CSU's chance to shine. And Van Pelt's opportunity to exact revenge.

Colorado led 14-13 with under seven minutes left in the game before Van Pelt stole the show and spiked a dagger into the Buffaloes' heart.

On 1st and 10 from the Buffs' 23, he takes the ball from under center, roams left and fake pitches the ball before taking off and busting it outside to the right to score.


With the dual-threat quarterback clearly about to cross the goal line, CU safety Roderick Sneed still dove after BVP, who immediately spun around and spiked the ball off Sneed's helmet.

There were no flags. No confrontations.

But that spike spoke volumes about how much Van Pelt loathed the Buffs and how heated the rivalry really was back then. It was the underdog venting his pent up frustrations, it was David taking down Goliath; it was Van Pelt putting the Rams on his broad shoulders and carrying them to victory.

The Rams were victorious, 19-14, due to BVP's remarkable run in one of the most memorable Rocky Mountain Showdowns in the last few decades. Following the win, CU dropped from No. 7 to No. 19 in the country while Colorado State went from unranked to No. 21 overnight.

Of course, the touchdown-and-spike by Van Pelt is legendary, as was his entire career at Colorado State. In 2013, he was inducted into the CSU Sports Hall of Fame and the highlight reel, complete with commentary from Sonny Lubick, is extraordinary.


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