BJ Mathis to Trey Bryant: This (BYU) is the Place

BYU's season-opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 4 looms larger than just another classic football matchup between the worldwide flagship universities representing the Catholic and LDS faiths. In attendance with his mother will be one of the Cougars' top defensive line recruiting priorities.

Trey Bryant, a 6-2, 300 pound defensive tackle with 4.9/40 speed from Richardson Berkner High School, confirmed to TotalBlueSports.com that he has now narrowed his top choices to BYU and Baylor. They "are my top two schools right now."

A Texas "Hot 100" recruiting prospect (all positions), Bryant recorded 54 tackles and seven sacks last season as a junior. "A lot of teams will try to run away from me, but I like to use my speed sideline to sideline and hunt them down. I love to catch them from behind; they are not going to get away from me. When I catch them, I punish them," he told KStateFans.com (TheInsiders.com) in early August.

Bryant said he has received scholarship offers from Arizona, Utah, Mississippi State, Baylor, Southern Methodist and BYU. More are apparently on the way. "I have been told I am going to get offers from a bunch of others schools," Bryant said.

Other schools he included in his top five on Aug. 5 were Texas A&M, Illinois and Kansas State. "I like those schools, but BYU and Baylor are my favorites," he said.

One of the most appealing aspects of playing for the Cougars is the opportunity to play alongside two close friends and former teammates, B.J. Mathis and Karland Bennett, who are expected to see substantial playing time this season as true freshmen.

Bryant, in fact, spent time in Provo with Mathis during the summer. "I loved it out there. The facilities and stadium were all first class," he said.

He also met informally with various BYU coaches during his unofficial visit. "I talked with all the coaches at BYU. I like them a lot. Coach (Todd) Bradford is the one recruiting me, but I met with Coach K (Steve Kaufusi), my position coach, and coach (Bronco) Mendenhall, the defensive coordinator."

Bryant said he set up his official to BYU for the weekend the Cougars take on a highly-motivated Fighting Irish team in Provo. "I'm coming up for the Notre Dame game with my Mom, so she can check everything out." Bryant said.

Sonja Bryant, his mother, would prefer he play at Baylor, only an hour and a half away so she can see him play.

But she noted in an interview she would fly to Utah for games if her son signed with BYU next year. "He (Trey) knows if I have to catch a plane everyday, I'll be there," Sonja said. "I don't want him to go someplace and then he's not happy. If he chooses to go there (BYU), that's fine with me because it's his life. I want him to make the best of it."

Football aside, she expressed her admiration for her son. "I'm very proud of him. He's really a sweet child. He's never had any problems – not being able to play sports because of grades. He's always kept his grades up.

In a comment perhaps her son would cringe at, she joked, "I think Trey is more of a mother's baby, too."

So far, one of the most influencing factors for Bryant is playing with friends. He said that although Baylor is close to home, he doesn't know anybody out there.

Meanwhile, he has three really good friends at BYU. "B.J. is one of my best friends, I talk to him everyday. Antwaun Harris and I have been friends since the third grade. And I'm also friends with Karland Bennett."

"B.J. loves it out there and tells me about everything going on." Bryant said. "He said the whole team is going to a water park today. He also thinks the team will go undefeated. He's always talking about how good the team is. I hear about how good the quarterback (John) Beck is and I hear about (Aaron) Francisco too. I was joking around with him (B.J.) about how if he plays cornerback he'll have to guard Mike Williams at USC," he said.

Noting that others may point out the fact there are not a lot of blacks in Utah, he responded he was not concerned. "There are a lot of black guys on the team."

Noting the Provo lifestyle differences with most colleges, he noted, "Every time I call B.J., he and the other guys are having fun playing around and playing X-Box."

Baylor, however, still holds strong appeal with Bryant, who thinks he'll see playing time there as a freshman, adding also that he really likes the Baylor coaches.

In addition, one of his current teammates has committed to Baylor, which is a positive. "I don't have any negatives about Baylor," Bryant said. "I like all the coaches and it's close to home."

Bryant hasn't set up an official visit to Baylor, but commented he plans to also visit Mississippi State and Houston. "I want to see what is out there. I've already been to SMU and Tulsa."

For now, Bryant is single-mindedly focused on a standout senior season. "I feel like I have a good grasp on everything. I want to work this year on my speed and conditioning. I had a minor (knee) scope in July so I've been relaxing a little, but I'll be ready to go full pads next week."

When asked to describe his strengths, Bryant said he is good at clogging up holes and bull rushing the quarterback. Quick off the block, he also has excellent sideline-to-sideline speed.

Stacey Dean, TheInsiders.com Big 12 recruiting analyst and Texas recruiting expert, had the following analysis on Bryant. >P> "Bryant is, at minimum, a 3-star prospect who should easily make our Hot 100 regional team (top 66/67 players from Texas automatically qualify).

"Currently ranked No. 56 in the state (Texas), we think that's pretty close, but have not ruled out a move up in our future rankings. He's capable of earning starting minutes and/or becoming a regular member of a defensive line rotation within his first couple of seasons of Div. 1 ball – if he continues developing from a strength/quickness standpoint," Dean wrote in his analysis.

Bryant said he wants to make his college commitment decision by the end of his senior football season. Meanwhile, best buddy Mathis is consistently telling him, "This (BYU) is the place to be."

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