Bryant's drawing big comparisons

There has been a lot of talent to come out of Thomas County Central over the years. They have a Scout 300 running back there in the 2014 class with a big rush end following him in the 2015 class. This sophomore is being compared to an All-American that played there a couple years ago.

Ray Drew was 6-feet, 5-inches tall and 248 pounds when he left Thomas County Central in the summer of 2011.

Austin Bryant is currently a sophomore A.T. Thomas County Central and he is already 6-feet, 5-inches tall and 240 pounds.

Comparisons have been drawn.

"I have been hearing the Ray Drew comparisons since eighth grade," said a laughing Bryant. "People have been saying I was the next Ray Drew and things like that for a couple of years now. He is a great athlete, so being compared to him is a real blessing. Just hearing my name in the same sentence as Ray's is a real blessing to me."

Drew was a five-star defensive end coming out of high school and he played in the U.S. Army All-American game before signing with the University of Georgia.

Georgia won out for Drew and they beat out a school close to home in Florida State. The Seminoles have recently jumped on Bryant and offered him a scholarship.

"Florida State is the first school to offer me and they called Coach Shaver to tell him about it last week. I have not been able to talk to them yet, but I hope to get down for one of their Junior Days soon."

Living right across the border from Tallahassee, Bryant has a good idea of what it's like at FSU.

"I know a lot about Florida State. I have been to a lot of Florida State games, a lot of my family are Florida State fans, they have a lot of history at Florida State, and I wouldn't mind being part of that one day. It is just a great school."

Getting that first offer from any school would be nice, but getting it from a program with prestige like Florida State has to feel good.

"It means a lot and it makes me want to work even harder. Knowing they are watching me, knowing I am doing the right thing, and knowing they want me makes me feel like I just received an award. It feels good."

Clemson, Georgia, and South Carolina are also showing interest in this sophomore that had over 100 tackles in 2012.

When asked what he thinks is drawing schools to him this early, Bryant said, "I think my size catches their eye the most. I have a lot of length, I have good speed, and I think those things have caught their attention."

Bryant has interest in Florida State, but the school that is only 30 miles away was not his favorite as a kid.

"Growing up my favorite school was Georgia. Ray had a lot to do with that because we are so close. He is not pressuring me to go to Georgia or anything like that because he knows how it was being recruited, but I have been to Georgia games with his family and stuff like that.

"I have liked Georgia for years and they have a great program. There is nothing like a Saturday in Athens with those fans. It is very exciting up there."

Bryant's close friend took the process down to wire before announcing he was a Dawg, so with still close to two years to go before he signs his letter of intent, how does he see his recruitment playing out?

"I just have to keep God first and remember to stay dedicated to what I am are doing. I learned a lot from watching Ray go through this. If you keep God first, then things will work the way they are supposed to.

"I plan to take my time, not to commit early, and just take a look at the schools that come after me. I think I will commit late, not early."

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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