"Mr. Football" Award Winner To Visit Tigers

This versatile football prospect discusses his interest in Auburn and two other colleges.

Hoover, Ala.–-Alabama's Mr. Football for 2004 is scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn this weekend to check out the Tigers, but Hoover High's Jarod Bryant is not coming as a quarterback.

Despite throwing for more than 3,100 yards with 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions with a completion percentage of 69.9 percent, Bryant's athleticism is what has Auburn intrigued with the 5-10, 185-pounder and he says that's good enough for him.

"They are a good team and I've grown up an Auburn fan," Bryant tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "That's a big deal for me. I also have a brother and sister that go to Auburn, plus it's close. I have always wanted to play for Auburn. I'm going to go down there and see how everything goes and we'll see what happens from there."

Unsure of whether or not he'll get a scholarship offer on his trip, Bryant says he's just going to enjoy himself and not worry about anything else. After rushing for nearly 400 yards and seven touchdowns as well, he says that he could wind up at running back for the Tigers.

"I'm not sure if I have an offer," Bryant says. "They're not recruiting me as a quarterback. They told me up front that I wasn't going to play quarterback. That's fine with me. I understand that I'm 5-10 and 5-10 quarterbacks don't last in the SEC these days. They want me to play running back or maybe move me to defense. I'm not sure."

Jarod Bryant

In addition to Auburn, Bryant is also considering the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy. Both are recruiting him as a quarterback and he's already taken a visit to Colorado Springs to see the Falcon program in person. He says that he really enjoyed his trip and liked everything about Air Force.

"Me and my dad went out there," Bryant says. "I liked the mountains. It was pretty cool. I was impressed with their facilities because you never hear about Air Force having good facilities. Their weight room and indoor facility was pretty nice. We had a good time and met a lot of new people. It was pretty cool."

A starter at running back and wide receiver off and on his sophomore and junior seasons, Bryant moved to quarterback as a senior for the Bucs and led them to a perfect 15-0 season and the Class 6A state championship. Coach Rush Propst has noted that Bryant ran the offense better than anyone he's ever had at Hoover, high praise for a first-year starter.

Bryant says that winning a state championship was the most important goal he set for himself at the beginning of the season. He also wanted to make All-State, something he also did. "I accomplished most of my goals. That (state title) was what I was the most happy about. That's what happens when you put hard work into things."

With Auburn not having enough scholarships for a variety of bluechip prospects who have been seriously interested in the Tigers, Bryant is likely to be offered a chance to come to Auburn as a specially invited walk-on.

The experience at positions other than quarterback has Bryant excited about his opportunities in college at any position. With a personal best time of 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Bryant has the speed to play on either side of the ball and says that it doesn't matter to him as long as he gets the chance to play on the next level.

"It's just really where I feel like I want to go," Bryant says. "Quarterback is not my main focus on where I want to go. It's where I feel comfortable. I'll have to pray about it and go through all the decisions. In the end where I feel the most comfortable is where I'll end up going."

He says he plans to visit the Naval Academy on Jan. 21 before making a decision. "Sometime after that Navy visit I'll make a decision," he says. "It may be a week because signing day is on the 2nd. It will be a couple of days before signing day I'm sure."

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