- Number: 49
- Position: Linebacker
- Height: 6-3
- Weight: 257
- Roster Years: 2001-2004
- Hometown: Evanston, WY
- Last School: Evanston High School
Brady Paul Poppinga (born September 21, 1979) is an American football linebacker for the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at BYU.
Poppinga comes from a very athletic family. His father, Dennis Poppinga, played as a tight end at BYU from 1968 to 1971; his brother Casey played the same position at Utah State University and appeared on the practice squads of the Seattle Seahawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2004 NFL season; his brother Kelly Poppinga played linebacker at BYU, signed with the St. Louis Rams, and now is the linebackers coach at BYU; and his older sister Tara played volleyball at Utah State.
Poppinga received a bachelor's degree in business management at BYU. While in college he did some work as a motivational speaker at a school for troubled teenagers, and taught Sunday school in his church organization in Provo, Utah. He is bilingual (English and Spanish) as a result of his missionary experience in Uruguay.
He married Brooke Hubbard in 2002; the couple has a daughter, Jasmine, 6, and a son, Julius Maximus, 4
Poppinga attended Evanston High School in Evanston, Wyoming. He lettered three years in football and basketball and four years in track, and was an All-State selection at both linebacker and tight end. He was named both 4-A lineman and Wyoming Athlete of the Year as a senior while leading the team to a 9-1 record and a 4-A state title. In 1995, he earned the Eagle Scout honor.
Poppinga also finished second in a 1997 high school discus competition.
After graduating from high school, Poppinga served a two-year Mormon mission and enrolled at Brigham Young University in 2001. Poppinga quickly earned a place on the Cougar roster. He played in all 12 games of the 2001 season at defensive end, recording 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and one pass defensed on the season. Poppinga also made a significant contribution on special teams.
Poppinga's performance as a freshman gave him even more playing time in the 2002 season, including two starts and playing time in all 12 contests. He responded with a conference-leading eight sacks, and was named to the first-team All-MWC and as an MWC All-Academic selection. Poppinga also forced three fumbles and had three quarterback pressures on the season. He was also given an award for the top defensive lineman on the BYU Cougars.
Poppinga started all 12 contests at defensive end in the 2003 season. He led the team and finished seventh in the conference in sacks with six, and was among the top players in the conference in tackles with 55 (34 solo) and once again earned All-MWC honors. One of his most notable games of the season was a September 6 contest against the Trojans of USC, in which he earned co-defensive player of the game honors for a six tackle performance that included five solo tackles and a sack of star USC quarterback Matt Leinart.
In 2004 Poppinga started every game of his senior season, shifting near the end of the season from defensive end to outside linebacker. He finished third on the team in tackles with 79 (35 solo), also accumulating six sacks and one forced fumble, and for the third time in his career was selected for first-team All-MWC honors. Poppinga was also a candidate among 58 others for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the nation's top defensive player. He was named defensive player of the game for a September 4 contest against Notre Dame in which he posted 12 tackles (seven solo), a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.