(ST. JOSEPH) Nestled between his two alma maters, Missouri Western is where Brad Madison is getting his first taste of the National Football League.
BUt ong before he started getting workouts under the St. Joseph summer sun, he got them 70 miles way on the farm in Bethany.
"He's picked up square bales of hay for me when I was there in Bethany," former South Harrison High School coach Larry Linthicum said. "He knows the value of hard work."
A standout lineman at South Harrison, Madison followed in Linthicum's footsteps by attending the the University of Missouri, where he began sewing the seeds of a possible NFL future.
"There's some NFL-style players in the SEC. Not that there wasn't in the Big 12," he said." I saw some great offensive linemen in the Big 12. There's a couple here in Kansas City that I played against."
But despite playing in two BCS Conferences as a Tiger, Madison still showed up just as green as any rookie when he reported to Scanlon Hall at Missouri Western in late July.
"I'm new to this so I don't really know what to expect. I know it's going to be a tough camp, I know Coach Reid runs a tough camp."
An undrafted free agent out of college, Madison signed with the Chiefs in late April. He's now once again following in Linthicum's footsteps in working under the same man that taught his high school coach at Mizzou.
"Coach Reid was our O-Line coach there with Bob Stull's staff," Linthicum said. "He was just someone who you could tell kids and myself enjoyed playing for him."
"Close to home is nice, my family can be around," Madison said. "That's big, especially when you're a rookie. Sticking around really helped me out a lot."
Madison's gotten most of his work with the Chiefs special teams, working behind sixth-year long snapper Thomas Gafford. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub says his presense has lit a spark under the Kansas City veteran.
"Gafford had a couple bad snaps, a few bad snaps last year, and bringing a guy in like [Madison] really made Gafford focus the whole offseason and it carried over into training camp."
While Toub admits Gafford is pulling away in the race, Madison says he willing to play any position asked of him.
But regardless of how long he makes it in camp, he's just relishing the opportuntiy.
"He's doing a lot better. Brad is a good young player who's a developmental player."
"I'm a rookie so I'm just trying to learn what I can," Madison said. "I just come in, work hard, do my best and just let the rest happen."
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