BRYANT: KAIPO IS THE STARTER – "RIGHT NOW"

In a follow-up to my interview with Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, I had a chance to speak with possibly his main competitor this spring for the starting quarterback job at Navy, Jarod Bryant. From losing his dad William to cancer his plebe year to offering up a name of someone he'd like to take to the ring dance, I was able to touch upon a number of topics with the soon-to-be junior.

Bryant also talks about where he sees himself on the depth chart at quarterback and how he is committed to helping the team in anyway he can this upcoming season. 

 

GM: Can you talk to me about what the football team has been doing since the bowl game?  Do you attend meetings?  Do you work out?  What is the off-season like?

 

JB: There is a limited amount of time you can spend with the coaches so most of the time is spent in the weight room.  Trying to keep my mind fresh – watching a few games on tape.  It's all about getting stronger and faster.  Your best strength gains are going to happen now and in the summer.

 

GM: All youngsters, including you have a big decision to make in a few months – whether to stay or leave the academy – without penalty.  Navy fans always take a deep breath, hoping everyone on the team decides to stay.  Can you talk about Jeromy Miles' decision and how you found out about it?  Were you surprised?

 

JB: It did catch me by surprise.  I don't think anybody unless you were real close to him had any idea.  You hate to see guys leave, but you can see where they are coming from because this place isn't for everybody.  It's tough to see guys leave.  He was a good player and a starter.  It's tough, but maybe that's the best thing for him.

 

GM: It seems at compared to Navy, the off-seasons at Army and Air Force have been quite active.  Have you followed the situations at the other academies?  What do you think of their independent choices to go away from option football?

 

JB: I've heard a couple of things.  The new thing today is to go to the spread offense.  It seems like everyone is doing that.  Everyone is going to see it every week.  We'll see how it pans out for them.

 

GM: Do you see yourself as the back-up going into spring ball?   

 

JB: I don't see myself on the depth chart as being even with him.  He started all of those games at the end of the season.  He definitely is the starter right now, but I don't think that it is set in stone.  Going into spring, I'm going to try to put myself into a situation where they have to play me…somewhere, somehow… I'm all in.  I'm in for the team.  I am going to go in shooting for quarterback because that is what I grew up playing and what I love to play, but I just want to put myself in a situation where they have to play me somehow.

 

 

GM: Can you talk about your relationship on and off the field with Kaipo? 

 

JB: We're good friends.  We have a good relationship.  Competing isn't going to have any effect on that.

 

GM: There will be a lot written in the media as the season approaches about the fact that Navy has only 3 starters returning on defense.  Do you feel as though the offense may be called upon to compensate for the lack of experience on defense?  Will Navy need to score 30 points a game to win?

 

JB: I don't think so.  Sure we lost a bunch of guys.  Coach Green is a good coach.  We're going to be fine on defense.  We are going to still have to go out there and score points but I don't think it's going to be a shootout every game.  Our defense is going to be fine.

 

GM: Have you spoken to Adam Ballard recently?  Do you know how he is progressing with his injury?  Do you expect to be handing him the ball next month?

 

JB: It sounds like he is doing well.  He's tough.  If he can play (this spring) he will.  He's proved himself.  If he is not out there this spring, he will be ready for the fall.

 

GM: Can you talk about opening up the bowl game against BC at quarterback?

 

JB: It was exciting.  Coach told me the day before the game that they were thinking about opening up with that package.  I knew we were going to run it sometime, but I did not know we would start the game with it.  It was exciting, (even though) we struggled there for a little bit. 

 

GM: Kaipo took a pretty good hit on that opening play at receiver…

 

JB: I probably wouldn't want to have been him on that play.

 

GM: I ask every player I interview to give me their best Coach Johnson one-liner or memorable moment…take a minute (if you need to) and give me a good one…I know you have one, everybody does.

 

JB: During bowl practice, we were practicing the spread formation with me at quarterback and there was a little miscommunication. I did the wrong thing, and it wasn't the first time I messed up that day.  He (Coach Johnson) got onto me pretty good.  He said if I screwed up one more time, we're just going to have to come out here and fight. 

 

GM: You and Coach Johnson?  

 

JB: Yep – everyone thought that was funny.  I don't think (Coach Johnson) was serious.

 

GM: Obviously losing a parent at a young age is a tragic event, but reflecting on the time since your dad has passed, can you say that the Naval Academy and/or football has provided you with an atmosphere in which you can not only deal with the emotions involved with the loss, but also provide you with enough distractions to keep you focused on your own personal growth?

 

JB: My plebe year, I knew he was sick.  I knew he wasn't doing well.  But you're so busy during plebe year that it definitely helped keep my mind occupied.  We are a really close knit team.  I think that is one of the reasons we are so successful.  Everyone was there for me when my dad passed.  I couldn't have expected anything more from everyone.  It was comforting to have all of these people I could talk to. 

 

Two-minute Drill

 

GM: Britney Spears, hair or no hair, and would you go to the ring dance with her?

 

JB: No Hair – because I think it is funny that you can say that KFED is more normal than her.

 

GM: Would you go to the ring dance with her?

 

JB:  Maybe 4 or 5 years ago, not anymore.  She's kind of crazy.  Carrie Underwood on the other hand…

 

GM: What is your desired Service Selection?

 

JB: Navy pilot

 

GM: What is your favorite movie?

 

JB: Old School

 

GM: What team would you like to play in 08?

 

JB: Alabama (play them and beat them)

 

GM: Can you compare the Army/Navy rivalry to the Auburn/Alabama one?

 

JB: It's totally opposite.  At the Alabama game in Tuscaloosa if you wear an Auburn hat somebody will probably cuss at you.   I think the Army/Navy game means more…there is more respect.  Alabama and Auburn is pure hatred. 

 

GM: What is the best King Hall meal?

 

JB: Chimichangas

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