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Penn State Student ‘Kicks The Sheets’ On TikTok

Brad Kraut – or the “Kick The Sheets” guy as you may know him from TikTok – has a lot of mindset motivation to offer. So, we sat down with “the academic weapon” himself to really get to know him.

Kraut, a current senior at Penn State, is from Bucks County, where he went to Council Rock South High School. Creating content from a young age, he’s always wanted to get into media.

During his childhood, his brother had an agent and aspired to be on TV shows, eventually landing a Nickelodeon spot called U-Pick Live. While his brother was trying out for different opportunities, Kraut’s mother always brought him along.

At the auditions, many people found Kraut “really cute” and commented on his potential, leading him to eventually get an agent himself. An opportunity came to be in a Sesame Street commercial but, a few days before the shoot, Kraut got a black eye and was unable to perform.

He continued pushing, trying out for the movie Jackass, among other roles. In 2005, Kraut’s family was on the reality TV show called Wife Swap, a show where two moms from different families switch places for two weeks.

As he got older, Kraut got more into sports. So much so that he would occasionally forgo audition trips to New York in order to focus on sports. But, his passion for media and becoming an influential figure online never died off.

As a high school sophomore inspired by Jesse James West and Christian Guzman, Kraut merged his passion for fitness with his desire to create content by making a fitness page with his best friend. He wanted to show his fitness journey as he transformed his body, but it was more than that. Adding an entertaining twist, he ratcheted up his personality.

The personality has always been there. In high school, he created an alter ego for himself: Backwards Hat Brad.

“So, literally I took my energy and created an alter ego called Backwards Hat Brad,” Kraut said. “And you could describe him as like a WWE wrestler. You know right now you’re talking to Brad, but then when he puts that backwards hat on and the glasses, he was a whole different person.”

Backwards Hat Brad gave a memorable performance in his school’s senior talent show, which reignited Kraut’s fondness for performing. That moment reemphasized a dream that Kraut had for years before. He wanted to do something in media.

Upon graduating high school, Kraut didn’t want to go to college. He felt like he wouldn’t get anything out of academics, but he saw a different opportunity in Penn State’s student population of 40,000 – a way to make a name for himself.

“The bigger your network, the more opportunity that will come your way,” Kraut said.

And came his way they did. When he saw his friend, Austin, post about a new brand of sherpa-lined jeans called JERPA, Kraut reached out.

Austin was searching for a student ambassador for his new brand. Immediately, Brad got heavily involved with JERPA, selling 40 items within 48 hours. He was passionate about the product and sought a unique way to build the brand.

He strived to get JERPA in the hands of influential people on campus and constantly posted about the brand on his own social media pages. He admits that he got some hate for doing this, but he kept pushing and just ignored it. Eventually, Kraut earned the role of JERPA’s director of marketing.

Come January 2022, Kraut was “grinding.” He juggled branding and marketing for JERPA, creating his own content, being a full-time student, and working for the premium clothing brand Cuts. Then, Penn State’s starting quarterback Sean Clifford came to him with an opportunity to be a part of his new NIL sports marketing agency, Limitless.

“If something is important to me, I’m gonna make time for it. I am not one to make excuses,” Kraut said.

Kraut knew that something was going to need to change in order to keep the balance. To start, he made a change to his sleep schedule, crediting the book: “The 5 AM Club.”

Kraut began following the book’s advice to engage in physical activity immediately after waking up. One morning, Kraut got up, kicked his bed sheets off, and ran in place.

“And like I had such a productive day. I was like, holy shit, this is fucking awesome,” Kraut said. “I need to keep doing this.”

The next day he recorded himself kicking the sheets and posted it on TikTok, where it started to gain traction.

Kraut stopped working with Limitless in August as he was ready to focus on building his own brand. A couple of his TikToks hit it big earlier on but after stepping away from Limitless, Kraut started cranking out about 30 videos a day on the app.

Then one day he recorded himself sitting in the front row of a 700-person lecture hall, calling himself an “academic weapon”. That video hit. Currently sitting at about 4.9 million views, it is Kraut’s most popular video thus far. Since its posting, he’s gained more than 350,000 followers on TikTok.

“It’s just about being a weapon in life. Just being an all-around weapon,” Kraut said.

Kraut has blown up. Just during our twenty-minute interview, three different groups of people came up to him asking for pictures. He loves it though.

“I think the most overwhelming part is like the amount of people that are reaching out to me wanting to help, or just wanted to get involved,” Kraut said.

While “academic weapon,” and Kraut himself, are really taking off right now, he has big plans for the future. Currently, he’s focusing on putting out more content and building the brand. However, he recently filed an LLC for Kick The Sheets, with aspirations of turning into a Barstool-level media company and opening up gyms and kitchens.

Next semester, Kraut plans on doing a college tour of more than twenty universities and interacting with their student bodies, as he does at Penn State.

When asked about any advice he has for freshmen or really anybody, Kraut had some insightful words to offer.

“You don’t know the taste of chocolate until you taste it,” Kraut said. “Go out and taste as many things as you can and pick and choose what you like…Network. Network. Network. You need to put yourself out there.”

“You need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Kraut continued. “Go out there and shake fucking hands.”

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About the Author

Rico Gore

Rico is a senior advertising major from Pittsburgh who has been with Onward State since just a couple weeks into his freshman year. He loves to drink Diet Coke and eat Mexican food. You can follow Rico on Instagram @RealBigRico and TikTok @RealBigRico.

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