Bryant Creating Chaos

James Bryant has a had a career that's been full of valleys and not many peaks, but Saturday against Houston, his two-yard touchdown reception that gave Miami a 14-13 lead late in the third quarter and propelled the ‘Canes to their second win of the season was a coming out party for the wild and crazy junior out of Reading, Pa.

But it hasn't always been peaches and cream for the linebacker turned fullback turned linebacker turned back to fullback three weeks ago.

James Bryant was suspended for the season opener for what apparently was a case of missing a few classes in the spring. He was buried on the depth chart at linebacker where he was an All-American coming out of high school so he approached head coach Larry Coker about making a change back to the offensive side of the ball.

"I looked at what I was doing. I said to myself, I ain't doing (expletive). Where should I go to do something for the team," Bryant said. "I went to coach like I said and said I need to do something for the team. He said alright JB, this is what I need you to do and that was all that needed to be said."

Bryant has taken the opportunity and run with it although he still hasn't gotten a carry yet this season, but that might happen in due time with productive play on offense.

"By my performance, I'll be rewarded," Bryant said in terms of a carry or two.

That should be a little nerve wrecking for potential opponents because Bryant is one of the toughest guys on the team at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds and is the type of guy one might want with him when involved in a street fight because of his snarling intensity.

But what's on Bryant's mind at the present time is being a contributor to the team more than he was when he was simply the leading tackler on Special Teams. Although he would prefer to be playing linebacker, getting on the field as much as possible is Bryant's main focus. And if that means playing fullback in order to do, then so be it.

He's also not frustrated as people may think since it's taken him so long to get extensive playing time.

"When you use the word frustrating, you are looking at someone who is selfish, who is only out for himself," Bryant said. "When you break it all down and do what is best for the team, you shouldn't feel frustrated at all because there is no more you can really do."

And that includes catching passes which Bryant had immense trouble with last year when he played fullback, but he says that his pass catching has improved a great deal and is very happy about that.

"I've been back on offense for three weeks, and I've only dropped 3 balls in practice running routes," Bryant said.

But the man of many nicknames and the youngest of six kids, remains humble and tries to keep it light for his teammates even as they have struggled in the first four games of the season.

"Kyle (Wright) calls me Chaos, but my main nickname is Booby," Bryant said. "When Friday Night Lights came out, I had just moved back to offense last year and he wore number 45 and I wear number 45 so people just started calling me Booby.

"I haven't done anything crazy yet, but there might be something coming," Bryant said. "We've got to be serious, but we've got to have fun at the same time."

And like Booby Miles who played for Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, thought he could do it all, Bryant feels the same way.

"With my athletic ability, my size, my speed, I'll play fullback, linebacker, defensive end, wherever they need me," Bryant said.

Maybe at that point, the fans will get to see the wild and whacky side of a guy who admits he is very outgoing, but at the same time is very intense when it comes to being on the field.

However, against Houston, he got off the field as soon as possible so as to not potentially get a personal foul penalty for doing something crazy.

"At that time, I knew I had to get off the field before I did something whacky or crazy," Bryant said. "But I am not as crazy as they make me out to be."

But just crazy enough to finally bring that sense of attitude back to the Hurricanes offense, something that's been missing all season.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at

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