While many college prospects are spending the summer narrowing their lists of favorites, linebacker James Bryant is in no hurry to name a leader, or to make a decision. However, he has given a few hints at some leaders.
The inside linebacker from Reading, Pa. is a physical speciman at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds and recently ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds flat. His bench press of 405 pounds and his squat of 540 pounds are indicative of his strength and run-stopping ability, and he has the athleticism to drop into coverage and make big plays.
Many schools have offered the four-star stud, but he's remaining wide open.
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"I don't have any leaders at this point," said Bryant, who could also play defensive end in college and is also a standout running back. "No schools stand out to me. Everyone who is recruiting me is even. I'm not even going to try to narrow things down for now. I have about 16 offers now and I want to look at all my options before eliminating any schools."
Bryant was the MVP of the Pittsburgh summer camp he attended, and enjoyed the trip to see the Panthers. In addition to Pitt, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Virginia, Boston College, Iowa and LSU have all been mentioned as teams of interest. So what will be most important in his decision?
"Communication within the football program will be the most important thing. The way in which the players communicate with the coaches, and the way the coaches communicate with each other will be very important.
"There needs to be an open environment with respect and a good atmosphere for teaching and learning the game.
"I also want a school that plays a strong schedule, that will be able to compete each year and with a good defensive system and tradition. I want to play in big games and wouldn't mind staying closer to home."
Based on his criteria, it is assumed that Pitt, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State might have the edge. However, Bryant is insistent on not naming any leaders.
"I don't want to do that because it's too early," he said. "I am still looking at some schools and won't really narrow things down for a little while."
Bryant wants to see a few schools on official visits before deciding anything.
"I won't make my decision until late in the process. If not on Signing Day then sometime around then, probably not earlier than January."
A three-year varsity starter, Bryant tallied 132 tackles and recorded eight quarterback sacks, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He also saw action on offense where he rushed for 984 yards on a 7-3 Reading team. His performance garnered him all-conference and second team all-state accolades as a junior.
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