Patrick Bryant is one of the best players from the Jacksonville, FL area in the Class of 2021.
The 6-foot-1, 160 pound Bryant, who currently attends Atlantic Coast High School, is a wide receiver who participated for FBU Jacksonville and AYLBG the last two years.
Bryant displayed his two-way versatility for FBU Jacksonville as he also played safety during the tournament.
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Bryant is humbled to have the opportunity to showcase his skills on a national platform.
“It was a pretty good experience to play with some of the best kids in the city and the chance to travel to another city and play some of the best kids in the nation,” Bryant said. “I felt it was a good chance for me to get exposure and exposure was what I got. I got the chance for two of my highlights to be featured on the Under The Radar Sports (UTR) and be the MVP of the tournament for my team scoring two touchdowns and throwing two touchdowns.”
Roderick McKenney, who coached Bryant last season with FBU Jacksonville, raves about how the athlete is always aware of his surroundings.
Additionally, Bryant has attended McKenney’s Greatly Prepared Athletes (GPA) Football Academy, which has helped him further develop his talents.
“At wide receiver he is a go to guy especially in the red zone on fades,” McKenney said. “At safety he is a football hawk. He has an understanding of both positions as he is going against them on the opposite side of the ball. He is a very composed player.”
Bryant has also played for DuPont Middle School and Oceanway for Pop Warner.
Bryant has a great appreciation for the role models that he’s made playing football.
“I have passion for the game of football,” Bryant said. “What I love the most is that the game of football not only comes with coaches it comes with mentors who teach you about not only football but how to become a better man. That’s what I love the most.”
Football has enabled Bryant to learn the value of placing things in perspective.
“Football has taught me that hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard,” Bryant said. “No matter how smart or talented you are as person you still have to work hard to get the things you want in life. It's also taught to take mistakes as lessons and learn from them.”
Bryant is very respectful of his coaches and values their input.
“My coaches play a father figure role in almost all of my fellow brothers’ life. They make sure we behave in school and also at home. They are our mentors. There are times that they will stop practice to give us a speech on how to become a better man,” Bryant said. “My coach once told me no matter what I do in life not everybody is going to be your friend so you need to try your hardest to show them respect.”
McKenney says while Bryant is for the most part a lead by example type of player, that he’s capable of firing up the troops when necessary.
“He is a quiet leader. He shows it on the field, but if he ever has to open his mouth, his teammates listen,” McKenney said. "I remember one of his speeches. He said. ‘Let's go fellas......We didn't come all this way to Georgia to just to get beat. We may not have the numbers but we have the athletes. Let's finish the game!"
The main way Bryant demonstrates his leadership is through his encouraging nature.
“To be a good teammate I show all my fellow brothers the same respect they show,” Bryant said. “I try to keep them motivated. There has never been a time that I have told one of my fellow brothers something that would bring them down.”
McKenney raves about how Bryant uses his strong frame to his benefit.
“I believe he may play basketball as well because he knows how to use his body to box out DBs. On defense he understands that depending on how the WRs lineup will determine the routes being ran,” McKenney said. “It’s a 90 percent guarantee he makes the fade to the corner of the end zone catch. He's proven it in practice against five different DBs of different sizes and twice in a game.”
Bryant recalls his favorite memory on the football field.
“During the FBU game our defensive end was hurt so coach said he needed someone to step up,” Bryant said. “I never played defensive end a day in my life but that play I just fired off the ball and end knocking the helmet off the QB. He fumbled and I ran it back for about 40 yards.”
Bryant admires the Florida Gators’ Antonio Callaway and believes the wide receiver has a good heart despite his off the the field troubles.
“Although, he was suspended I still look up to him because when I went to the Florida camp he sat and gave all the wide receivers a speech on not just football but how to become a man,” Bryant said. “I feel in life everybody makes mistakes. He just made one at the wrong time.”
Bryant has a passion for reading and lists his favorite book as “Beyond Championships.”
“I feel without reading there are a small number of things you can do in life,” Bryant said.
McKenny compares Bryant’s possibilities to one of the all-time great safeties.
“He has the potential of being an Ed Reed because of the way he plays the ball when it’s in the air,” McKenney said. “He has the potential of being a big-time player that makes big time plays.”
Bryant wants to continue the tradition and become a University of South Florida Bull. His brothers Brandon (FB) and Nigel Harris (LB) played at South Florida.
“I've visited it a few times myself I just like how my brothers explained how the program runs. I also like how the coaches still stay in contact with my brothers to make sure they are doing good in not only sports but life,” Bryant said. “It would mean the world to be up next.”
One way or another, McKenney is steadfast in his belief Bryant will accomplish his goals.
“As of now if he is surrounded by coaches who are going to push him to be great then he will be great,” McKenney said. “If he matures, which I believe he will, he won't need a coach to push him to be great. He will do it on his own.”
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