To that end, Bryant is adding something new to his resume for 2015. “Offense has come naturally to me, but this is my first year playing defensive end so we’ll see how that goes,” he said. “It should be fun.”
Eastside Catholic Head Coach Jeremy Thielbahr believes Bryant can have just as big an impact defensively as he’s already shown on offense. “I think you’re talking with a young kid in Hunter that has such an upside, potential,” Thielbahr said. “He’s a kid that has already exploded onto the scene with a great sophomore year at tight end, but we’re going to use him a lot at defensive end as well. Upside is unlimited. Great athletic ability, phenomenal at tight end, and now we get to see what he looks like as a run stopper, pass rusher. He’s going to have a very large role in our season and whether or not we’re able to repeat. Great kid, understands the game, and works his tail off.”
About to head into his junior year, Bryant has been listening to his teammates a year ahead of him - players like Washington-bound Brandon Wellington and California-bound Matt Laris - when it comes to the recruiting process. What have they been telling him?
“Just to be patient and let everything come to you; don’t make rash decisions and have fun with it,” Bryant said of their advice.
Even though Bryant won’t be signing a letter of intent until February of 2017, he’s fully invested in the recruiting process right now. “I went to the U-Dub camp (on June 6th) and I went to their Junior Day back in February,” he said. “That’s all I’ve really been to.
“I knew coach Pao (Jordan Paopao) going into it so it was just more time to interact with him and let him see what I could do.”
The hometown Huskies knew all about Bryant from a young age. He grew up in Seattle and his father Eric used to be a strength trainer with the football team.
“I grew up in Seattle and I’ve always been around U-Dub.”
Expect a flurry of recruiting activity to take place after the first round of 2015 game film is mailed out to colleges. Thielbahr is convinced Bryant has a big future ahead of him.
“I think Hunter Bryant is going to go to a BCS school,” he said. “He’s extremely athletic; he’s great in space and has great body control. I haven’t seen him enough on defense to tell you if he’s going to be a defensive force. I believe he will be, especially after this spring ball. But I think obviously he’s shown he can play tight end at a high level. I think he could play tight end in a BCS conference.”
For Bryant, he knows if he takes care of business the recruiting process will start to take care of itself. “I feel like I’m on track,” he said. “Things are going in the right direction.”