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Bradford, McCoy developed close friendship

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

IRVING, Texas -- Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy are mighty on-the-field rivals because of the bitter Texas-Oklahoma rivalry.

But that antipathy hasn't carried over as Bradford and McCoy have developed a friendship that started last season when both were Heisman Trophy finalists.

Bradford won the award to become the second Oklahoma quarterback to win the award in the last six seasons. McCoy was second, matching Vince Young for the highest Heisman finish by a Texas quarterback.

The friendship blossomed after spending time together last December in New York City. They became closer when they were recent roommates when they attended Peyton and Eli Manning's Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La.

"We've spent a lot of time together the last few months," Bradford said. "We stayed in contact throughout the spring. We've just been able to develop a friendship."

They often joke and text each other and have found a common interest in fishing. They rarely talk about football.

"We got to know each other because of where came from, what we like to do when we're not around football," McCoy said.

Despite the bitter Texas-Oklahoma rivalry, McCoy and Bradford found out they are much alike.

"From the fans' perspective, there all saying, 'What in the world are you all doin'? You can't be friends,'" McCoy said. "But for me and for him in the same way, we've found out we have a lot in common."

Both are strong students who played multiple sports in high school. Neither was highly recruited coming into college. Both decided to play with the team they have followed since childhood. And both have a knack for making big plays in clutch situations.

As they have grown closer, both have admitted they would like to have a part of their friend's game that they admire. Bradford said he wishes he had McCoy's quick feet. And McCoy said he has been impressed with Bradford's ball-faking abilities and his proficiency in the Sooners' offense.

Even though the Oct. 17 game at the Cotton Bowl is being anticipated more than any in the previous 100-game history of the rivalry, McCoy and Bradford said their friendship will remain strong long after that game.

"Sam's a great player and a great person," McCoy said. "I don't think our friendship will ever change."