The high school football season is starting up again for 2015 Newnan (Ga.) quarterback Bailey Bryant and he has plenty of goals both for himself and his team.
Bryant hopes to be a driving force in what he would like to be a deep run in the playoffs this season. He's also hoping to turn the heads of those recruiting him, which include East Carolina, Marshall and Middle Tennessee State.
He's off to a pretty good start already.
“We had our scrimmage against LaGrange two weeks ago,” said the 6-foot-4, 202-pound signal-caller. “They're a good team and we beat them. The first pass of the year, I got some pressure and rolled out of the pocket. I found a guy down field and he took it to the house for a 70-yard touchdown. It's a pretty good way to start off the year.”
Of course, hurling a long touchdown on the first throw of the season can be a massive confidence boost.
“It's tremendous confidence,” Bryant told Inside ECU Sports. “I've always been a guy that can sit in the pocket. For me, being able to get mobile like that, make a big play to start off the season, gives me a lot of confidence to expand my abilities as far as scrambling out of the pocket.”
Bryant is already noticing a shocking level of chemistry between him and his receivers. In fact, it's a lot better than he expected it to be just a few months ago.
“To be honest, going into spring practice, I didn't know what we were going to do looking at receivers,” said Bryant. “We've had three or four guys step up. We've got a freshman coming in. He just came out of middle school and he's about 6-foot-2, 180 (pounds). He's stepped up big time for us...Even in the scrimmage, the chemistry was much better than I thought it would be.”
The Newnan receivers got the chance to build chemistry with Bryant over the summer. The team ran seven-on-seven practices and had plenty of time to work with one another.
Bryant's offense isn't just potent in the air. He's got a ton of confidence in the guys in his backfield, too.
“We're loaded in the backfield,” said Bryant. “We've got (three-star North Carolina commit) J.K. Britt. He'll be our primary back, but we've got two or three other guys that can come in if he needs a breather because he also plays safety for us. We're pretty deep at running back.”
Newnan opens its season Friday night against Carrollton—a team that went to the state championship last season. It's a big game to open the season, but Bryant sees it as an opportunity to get off to the strongest start possible.
“It's truly a good test for us going out in Week 1 and seeing what we're all about,” said Bryant. “I'm excited about it.”
If, under Bryant, Newnan's offense lives up to its explosive potential, he could garner a ton of attention from both new schools and the programs that are already recruiting him.