Western Kentucky has been keeping tabs on Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf prospect Jonathan Bryant II for a few months and for good reason. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound shooting guard is a proven difference-maker, establishing four new school records as a junior, including a 41 points scoring effort, and being chosen as the Clay County Player of the Year.
Hilltopper assistant Quannas White recently made the trip to Jacksonville area to watch Bryant in action and had to leave impressed as Bryant poured in 31 points and collected eight rebounds with the WKU assistant in the gym.
Bryant has picked up a handful of scholarship offers, including Troy, Jacksonville and Chattanooga, with interest increasing from WKU, Charlotte, Illinois State, South Florida and others. He's also collected a few additional scholarship offers for his efforts on the gridiron.
Johnny Diaz Jr., has spent time working with Bryant in AAU ball said the new Hilltopper prospect builds his success through his focus to improve while off the court.
"His most notable strengths come off the court work which lead to his on the court performance," he said. "In a modern day in age where student athletes seem to carry themselves with a sense of entitlement, Jonathan definitely does not."
Among Bryant's off the court work is spent in the weight room. His ability to squat 390 pounds is something isn't often matched by his basketball-playing peers.
"I nicknamed him MiniBo because he has a look to him like what if Bo Jackson would of played basketball?" Diaz said. "That's Jonathan. It's like watching a tank move like a Porsche."
Bryant, who is currently averaging 22 points and seven rebounds for Oakleaf, is quality in the classroom, carrying a 3.1 GPA and on track to graduate early, and is a proven leader.
"He leads by example for he is not the most vocal guy in the locker room, but once he hits the hardwood he transforms into a whole different person," Diaz said. "He was born to play this game."
While WKU has yet to extend a scholarship offer to Bryant, but head coach Rick Stansbury is hopeful to welcome him for a visit on The Hill.
Bryant's father confirmed to WKU Insider that there are no current leaders for his son.