FAU football recruit recap: Harrison Bryant

Part 11 of our weekly series highlighting each of the 19 players that signed with FAU on National Signing Day

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Max Jackson

Head football coach Charlie Partridge looks at the scoreboard before his team’s 27-26 loss to Rice on Oct. 10, 2015. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Incoming Florida Atlantic football recruit Harrison Bryant’s versatility has yielded him more personal accolades than even possible for most high school athletes.

The John Milledge Academy senior has been named to the Georgia All-State team three different times during his football career — in three different positions — including twice in one year. In his junior season, Bryant received all-state honors as an offensive tackle, which he played until this past season.

Following his senior year, he was named to the all-state team for both tight end and defensive end. Bryant sacked the opposing quarterback 11 times, recorded 100 tackles and also caught 10 touchdown passes. Baldwin County named Bryant its Defensive Player of the Year after his senior season.

According to Bryant, he was beat out by his own teammate for the offensive award.

“It was nice to know that I was still getting some recognition and to know I can play either side,” Bryant said.

Bryant’s versatility enabled some contrasting recruiting methods from several football programs. The College of William and Mary recruited Bryant as a pure football player — unsure of which position he would end up playing. Samford University wanted Bryant on the defensive side of the ball.

The Samford coach who failed to bring Bryant into Alabama was ironically the same coach who succeeded in bringing the Georgia native to South Florida.

Offensive coordinator Travis Trickett — previously head coach at Samford last season where he tried to originally recruit Bryant — and special teams coordinator Chris Hurd were able to pull in the three-time all-state Georgia native.

Head coach Charlie Partridge had no doubts that Bryant would fit in his offensive system.

“You combine his size and athleticism, he’s someone we think can really fit in well to that on-the-line tight end position,” Partridge said. “We think he has a long way to go because he’s a multiple sport guy, which you see a lot more as you work your way north. We think he has a high ceiling.”

The other two sports Partridge referred to were baseball and basketball.

“I started playing basketball last year and I was all-region,” Bryant said. “This year I was [all-region] again and we made it to the state championship … I also played baseball as was all-region in that.”

“I feel like that both sports help you with things that benefit you in football.” He continued. “Basketball with running up and down the court, and both in hand-eye coordination.”

There was never any doubt for which sport Bryant would pursue in college though, as he “always thought football first.”

“I just think this is going to be a great environment to play top-of-the-line football in the country,” Bryant said. “I feel like I can if I continue to work hard, I’ll develop as a better player in the system. Right now I’m just trying to get better, bigger and stronger.”

Our recruiting recap will continue on Monday with offensive lineman Brandon Walton.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. To contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.