Brady Minor has made 11 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo appearances, and he's as hot a heeler as there is right now coming off a win at the Ariat WSTR Gold Buckle Beer Open in Wickenburg. He's watching the NFR from Arizona, and he breaks down what's going on through Round 5 and what teams he thinks have a shot at winning it all. 

Clay Tryan and Jake Long

Round 5: 3.7 seconds

Round Winnings: 20,730.77

Total NFR Earnings: 46,525.64

World Standings Earnings: 104,154.93; 109,752.79

World Standings: 5

Minor's take: They had a really good steer, and Clay Tryan is a warrior. He hung it on him and it's about time Jake Long clean one up. That steer cleaned up good for him and it was a great run. I thought the day money was over when they went. I'm sure they were both happy to complete the course.  

Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins

Round 5: 4.1 seconds

Round Winnings: 11,000

Total NFR Earnings: 48,500

World Standings Earnings: 112,372.30

World Standings: 4

Minor's take: They made a great run last night. Their steer left the gates running. Andrew had to reach and it was tight, and Buddy heeled him on the first legal hop. They made a perfect run on that steer. Andrew has done good and they're one steer down and they'll keep knocking them down. 

Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves

Round 5: 19.6 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 80,653.85

World Standings Earnings: 144,829.89; 137,167.86

World Standings: 1

Minor's take: We're at the halfway point and they've done the best and won the most. It's their gold buckle to lose this year. Dustin left early on a good steer and he knew it. He's got so much range, if he can just slow down and try to win second or third and they catch the rest of them, that's the chance at the end.

Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves

Round 5: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 30,730.77

World Standings Earnings: 96,239.41; 86,889.81

World Standings: 7, 11

Minor's take: They have had a little bad luck. I didn't expect Paul to miss that first one. They were roping a steer down, and two nights ago the crossfire was really iffy. That was a bad luck deal. You can't hardly figure-eight a nose on purpose. They're roping a couple down and they'll bounce back and get money. 

Cody Snow and Junior Nogueira

Round 5: 4.0 seconds

Round Winnings: 15,653.85

Total NFR Earnings: 29,884.62

World Standings Earnings: 99,112.68, 87,968.59

World Standings: 6, 10

Minor's take: Great run. Cody scored good, got him on a short rope and Junior heeled him as fast as he could before he got in the fence. His horse looked outstanding and faced tight. That was the difference between the 3.7 and a 4.0—that steer came left. I didn't expect Junior to miss one. 

Clay Smith and Jade Corkill

Round 5: 3.6 seconds

Round Winnings: 26,230.77

Total NFR Earnings: 47,230.77

World Standings Earnings: 116,934.32

World Standings: 3

Minor's take: They came back with about a perfect run on a steer that was off to the right. Clay's done what he does. There's nothing unexpected there. Jade has struggled for Jade Corkill. He switched to the Powerline and his sorrel heel horse and he feels good. So they're back in the mix in the World Standings race. 

Luke Brown and Joseph Harrison

Round 5: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 54,987.18

World Standings Earnings: 144,652.15; 125,286.18

World Standings: 2

Minor's take: Luke is doing what Luke Brown does. He's doing an outstanding job, I thought. He's setting them up and he was fixing to win the average again and went and does his job like Luke Brown does. When Joseph missed, I was speechless. I thought the steer came out of there plenty good. It wasn't like he fell down, and that turned around a chance for somebody behind him to have a chance at the world title. Joseph won't take any second chances and throw on the first jump. Heeling steels looks harder in that arena than in the Thomas & Mack. 

Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan

Round 5: 9.10 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 43,000

World Standings Earnings: 90,144.92

World Standings: 10, 9

Minor's take: I thought that steer tried and Brenten hung it on him and it was hard for the heeler to get there. Chase took a swing over him and only roped a leg, but coming from a heeler's standpoint, that was a tough shot. That Brenten Hall looks like he came right from Vegas last year and decided to do the same thing. That steer he nicked the nose on, that was just really bad luck.

Kolton Schmidt and Hunter Koch

Round 5: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 10,000

World Standings Earnings: 61,021.85

World Standings: 15

Minor's take: Man, I've been there and it's not a good feeling having nothing won come the second half. You're stressed about winning, and you can't lay up at all. I'd sure like to see him get some confidence. Last night was a tough go-round. When he roped 4.1, he was already winning fourth. You can't really just try to win sixth. He was in a bad spot and that steer cut him off terrible last night. I really hope it turns around today. He roped good all year. I had high hopes for him coming in and I know it's just not going the way he wanted. He's practicing nonstop and he's got a good horse. Hunter throws fast, and it just hasn't worked out. 

Jeff Flenniken and Tyler Worley

Round 5: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 14,230.77

World Standings Earnings: 63,622.11; 65,368.45

World Standings: 14

Jeff's take: Jeff had done good for an NFR rookie. I was thinking they'd go win fourth or fifth on the steers that'd let them. To win much money, Jeff is going to get aggressive. 

Nelson Wyatt and Levi Lord

Round 5: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 41,448.72

World Standings Earnings: 92,140.26; 93,338.76

World Standings: 9, 7

Minor's take: I thought they both roped good for their first Finals. They had looked pretty sharp, and Nelson was doing a great job. They were in the average, and Levi must have thought to take an extra swing over him. It almost fouled him. I think Nelson will bring the heat tonight and start trying to win first. 

Erich Rogers and Paden Bray 

Round 5: 5.0 seconds

Round Winnings: 4,230.77

Total NFR Earnings: 40,461.54

World Standings Earnings: 93,003.11

World Standings: 8

Take: Man, Rogers looks super, super solid. Rogers is the veteran. He's scoring sharp and doing what he does when the big money is up. His horse looks really good. He's turning Paden steers, and Paden started off really good. Paden had three legs in a row and they saw the average fall apart last night when they roped. Paden got to the inside better. He turned his horse in sooner and they're winning the average. It depends if they have a gold buckle in their sights—then they need to win first. But if they want a lot of money, they just need to knock the rest of them down. 

Chad Masters and Wesley Thorp

Round 5: 15.5 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 33,269.23

World Standings Earnings: 85,951.72

World Standings: 12

Minor's take: I was thinking of them this morning, and I was stuck on what to say. They're two gold buckle winners, and they rope really good, as we know. They haven't really gotten tapped off maybe. Wesley has caught them all. He's as on-game as anyone out there. Chad's got a barrier and a no-time, but I think Chad is going to bring some heat and turn it on shortly here. 

Charly Crawford and Logan Medlin

Round 5: 6.3 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: 14,230.77

World Standings Earnings: 69,460.04; 68,851.61

World Standings: 13

Minor's take: Charly—man they've both roped so good all year. Charly's last year, and they're hoping for a better Finals. They started off with a no-time right off the bat, Charly switched horses and he's in between the starts. He broke the barrier and he missed it last night. I don't know if breaking that barrier made him hesitate last night, and he went and knocked him down. You could see him throw his head back with frustration. If he's in the barrier, and the steer stays straight, Logan throws fast. 

Levi Simpson and Shay Carroll

Round 5: 4.7 seconds

Round Winnings: 6,769.23

Total NFR Earnings: 37,923.08

World Standings Earnings: 88,320.73; 94,190.39

World Standings: 11, 6 

Minor's take: Levi, it looks to me like he's hanging it on them pretty dang good. He's reaching and throwing a lot of rope out there. If Shay doesn't throw on the first jump, they're getting in the bucking chute and they aren't getting as fast of a finish. They're big players and have four knocked down. Levi is tapped off. If they can get their run not as spread apart, they'll be more in the right range. TRJ

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