A spectacular performance by James Bryant

James Bryant was everybody's defensive MVP at the Penn State Nike Camp. Bryant is considered by almost every recruiting analyst in the country as one of the top 10 linebackers in the nation. Witnessing his performance at the camp, not only his immense athletic ability but also the fierce intensity with which he applies it, makes me believe that his stock will be even further on the rise.

Measuring in at 6-foot-3 1/2 and 246 lbs., Bryant not only ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds but also floated through the shuttle in 4.14 seconds, which is incredible for an athlete his size. To put that in perspective, track and football star Andrew Johnson ran a 4.1 shuttle also. Bryant also registered a 30-inch vertical jump. In the bench press, Bryant did 26 reps at 185 lbs.

When asked about his performance, Bryant said " I wanted to do better than a 4.6 forty. they had several guys timing me and some had me at a 4.5, but I guess they took the average of all the times. I also can do better in the bench press but I hurt my arm maxing out the other day at 400 lbs."

If you read the above, it's really not necessary for me to say that James is just all muscle – tree trunk legs with an outstanding upper body development. Coming into the camp with the reputation of his athletic skills well established, the intangibles were what may have impressed most. Bryant was always showing the signs of a definite leader as he led his group through all the position and agility drills. And for an athlete of his size to target the 6-0/205 speedster Andrew Johnson as his competition in all the agility drills shows just how much ambition this young man has.

The two went at each other all camp and, amazingly enough, Bryant was able to stay with Johnson in most of the drills despite out-weighing Johnson by 40+ pounds. Bryant and Johnson are friends. Both attended the Miami Camp last year and both came away with camp MVP awards for the positions they play.

I had the chance to talk to James about Sam Bryant, his brother who plays safety at Pitt. When it was mentioned that he looked good at the spring game, James said " He is doing good, he should play a lot this year. I was just up to Pitt the weekend before and spent a 4-day weekend with him."

As a junior, Bryant registered 132 total tackles, 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 23 hurries, and 5 forced fumbles. He also had 984 yards rushing.

James still lists Pittsburgh, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State as his favorites.

Brian Gold

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