Cordele, Ga.--There is no question that one of Rodney Garner’s focal points in the 2017 recruiting class is finding a pass rusher who can be a difference-maker coming off the edge of the Auburn defense. Over the weekend one of the top guys in the country at doing that was on the Plains to check out the Tigers and left seeing a need for him with the Tigers.
A four-star that has offers from all over the country, “Big Cat” Markaviest Bryant from Crisp County High took in the Auburn Tigers scrimmage on Saturday and toured the campus. That gave him a good idea of what the program is all about and he said that was a very good thing.
“It was awesome,” Bryant said. “I learned a lot of things and talked with Coach (Gus) Malzahn. I had a great conversation actually. Then I talked to Coach T-Will (Travis Williams) and went to the stadium. I liked the intensity and just everything about it. I had a couple of doubts about them today when I came in, but they stood out.”
When Carl Lawson was out last season Auburn’s pass rush came to a standstill. Even with him back in the lineup late in the year the Tigers struggled to consistently put pressure on the quarterback. That’s something Garner is looking to change in this year’s class and they told Bryant as much on his visit.
“They need pass rushers,” Bryant said. “That’s something they preached. Every coach that came up to me said that, even Coach G. He was telling me they need some pass rushers and it’s hard to get to the quarterback. That’s something he preached today.”
Saying that the scrimmage was his favorite part of the visit, Bryant said he got some one-on-one time with Malzahn while it was going on and that really impressed him. It also gave him the chance to see his cousin, senior defensive tackle Montravius Adams, in action. Watching the veteran do his thing on the field and talking with him afterwards, Bryant said it was good to catch up with him again after the two spent time together last week.
“He was joking around today and it was awesome,” Bryant said. “He was telling me how it goes with the defensive tackles. Last weekend he came down to where I stay on spring break and showed me some things.”
Saying that he “most definitely” plans to visit Auburn again this summer to spend time with Adams and learn from Garner, Bryant said his visit served to move the Tigers way up his list of schools and now they’re firmly in the running for him.
“Actually they were at the bottom before, but now they would be one of my top five,” Bryant said. “I have Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida and probably Florida State.”