PA LB Has Early Favorites

James Bryant is a big, physical junior FB/LB from Reading, Pennsylvania, with good speed and a love for hitting. Bryant discusses recruiting and talks about his early favorites.

Name: James Bryant
Position: LB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 235 pounds
Bench Press: 380 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.52 (at Miami camp)
School: Reading, PA (Reading HS)

As a fullback on offense, he rushed for 984 yards.  From his linebacker position on defense, James tallied 132 tackles, 8 sacks, 23 hurries and 2 fumble recoveries, helping his team to a 7-3 record.

"I like to get to the ball," James said Friday evening.  "If it ain't rough, it ain't right, that's what I always say.  I like reading my keys and getting to the ball.  I get a rush out of hitting people or getting hit myself."

He is being recruited to play linebacker in college and although he currently has just one scholarship offer, from the University of Pittsburgh, he has heard from schools all across the country.

"I've gotten letters from everywhere from Washington State to Maryland."

Bryant listed his two favorites as Miami and Pittsburgh.  He also favors Florida State, Oregon, Nebraska and Maryland.

He attended a camp at the University of Miami the summer prior to his junior year and won the MVP award for his linebacker position.

"I went down to the camp because [Miami] was one of my top choices since I was a youngster.  I think I play more like a linebacker from the Miami area, a lot of running and hitting, sideline to sideline.  Plus, they were national champions the previous year, so I thought if I went down there and did as well as I did, I would be ranked among the top linebackers on the east coast.  I heard all of the top linebackers and defensive players go down there to go to that camp."

Bryant was also named 2nd Team All-State Big School-Defense by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He attended a Nike Camp at Penn State last year and stood out as one of the best linebackers there.

"I'm going to the Nike Camp at Penn State again this year.  As a matter of fact I am going the day before for the Blue-White game.  I'll just stay up there overnight and then go to the Nike Camp the next day.  My girlfriend's brother plays for Penn State, Pete Gilmore.  I'm going up there to see him play.

"I talk to him when he comes home on the weekends and stuff.  Plus, one of my former players is up there, LaMar Stewart, so I talk to him every once in a while too."

His appearance at the Penn State Nike Camp last year was his only trip to State College.

"I get letters from them.  I get stuff from them probably every other day."

Is he interested in Penn State?

"No, not really, that's not where I think I belong.  I don't like their style of play, their defensive scheme.  But, I can't just turn down any old school.  All my options are open, but Penn State's not really at the top of my list.

"I'm also going to the Nike Camp at Virginia Tech on May 17."

How interested is Miami in the young linebacker?

"When I was down there during the camp, they talked to me afterwards when they gave me my award, because I was down there for an extra day.  They were saying they'd be sending me stuff in the mail and that their middle linebacker was going to be graduating and they needed somebody to come in right away and be able to take charge."

James' brother, Sam Bryant, signed with the Pittsburgh Panthers a year ago.

"I've been out to Pitt to see a couple of Pitt games because that's where my brother is.  I haven't been around the campus or anything or through their facilities.  I saw the Boston College game, the Virginia Tech game (at VTech), the Texas A&M game, and Rutgers."

How does big brother like Pitt?

"He likes it.  He's not complaining so I guess everything's going smoothly there.  I talk to Coach Freeman every once in a while and he tells me that my brother's doing well.  This year, he got Scout Team Player of the Year, so he went up there and he did what he had to do.  They're liking him a lot and he's liking being up there.  They have him at, I think free safety."

Is Sam hoping James follows him to Pittsburgh?

"He's not forcing me to go anywhere I don't want to go.  He's just standing by me wherever I want to go.  He's just telling me to make the right choice and to do what I have to do when I get there."

James boast a 3.1 GPA and is a well spoken young man.  He has yet to take the SAT.

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