Finding the weight room

CLEMSON - Either Martavis Bryant couldn't find the weight room at T.L. Hanna or he just chose to avoid it altogether.

As a four-star prospect at the Anderson high school, Bryant kept a safe distance from anything that resembled a weight. Even during his post-graduate semester at Hargrave Military Academy, Bryant didn't take strength training very seriously.

"In high school, I didn't work out, period," he said. "Then, when I got here, I gained some weight and got way stronger than I used to be."

Since his arrival to Clemson in January of 2011, the results have been hard to ignore.

Bryant weighed 175 when he graduated from Hanna in 2010. Now, he's up to 206.

"I bench 340 now. So I got way stronger. I feel way better about my body," he said.

The improved size and strength have helped him adjust to the physical pounding absorbed at the college level.


Martavis Bryant had nine receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns last season. (Roy Philpott)
"I got quicker, a whole lot stronger and can take a whole lot more hits than I used to be able to. I just feel good about my body," Bryant said.

His self-confidence is at an all-time high. That's also played a critical part.

"It helps me out a lot," he said. "It helps me mature, helps me focus. Now, I'm just doing everything I can the right way, instead of doing it the wrong way and getting fussed at.

"I prefer to do it the right way so I don't get fussed at."

And boy did he get fussed at a lot. According to Bryant, the chewing out sessions from Dabo Swinney, Chad Morris and Jeff Scott have dwindled.

"I'm playing faster," Bryant said. "Last year, being a freshman, I didn't really know how to adjust to everything, but it's all about maturing."

He'll be among the players asked to step up into a more prominent role in next month's season opener against Auburn. Clemson will be without All-American wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who will be serving the first half of his two game suspension.

"Everybody's going to step up," Bryant said. "Everybody's gotten better. Everybody is maturing, learning. We're going to be all right."

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