Reading High School (PA) star James Bryant is proving this season why he is one of the best linebacker prospects in the country. The 6-3, 245 pounder is having an excellent senior season, leading Reading to a 10-1 record and a berth in the PIAA AAAA playoffs.
“We’ve been playing very well,” said Bryant. “But now it’s time to shine. We play Cumberland Valley (11-0) this Saturday, and my focus is one beating them and making a run at the state championship.”
On the season, Bryant has been a tackling machine. In order to keep opposing teams guessing, he moves from middle to outside linebacker from game to game. It does not matter where he lines up on the field, because he just makes plays.
“This year I have about 172 tackles,” said Bryant, who has also rushed for close to 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns as a fullback on offense. “I’ve played well. I don’t rush the passer a lot, so I only have like nine sacks. I stay back and just make tackles. I don’t have a set linebacker position…it depends really on each game.”
In addition to being very, very productive, Bryant shows up when it counts. He made one interception, forced two fumbles, had over 20 tackles and three sacks in a 44-2 thrashing of Wilson High School (Westlawn, PA). He ran back the opening kick-off for a score and rushed for two touchdowns. The win knocked Wilson, with star quarterback Chad Henne, out of playoff contention.
With those numbers and those kinds of performances, it is easy to see why Bryant has over 30 scholarship offers. Recruiting is on the back-burner for now, because he wants to concentrate on his football season.
“I’m honestly not trying to find out about any schools right now,” said Bryant. “That’s what I tell recruiters when they call. I’m not thinking about it at all. I just want to win football games. I’m focused on that right now.”
Virginia and Virginia Tech have both offered Bryant. Coach Bob Price and Coach Danny Pearman are the lead recruiters from each school. He says they are both under consideration with the other 30 or so schools who have offered, and he “has no favorites.”
Bryant has only made several unofficial visits to Pittsburgh, where his brother Sam is a sophomore defensive back. He has seen Pitt play on a number of different occasions...
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