Sunday, April 1, 2012
Greg Bryant commits to Oklahoma
By Bob Przybylo
Running back Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca Delray) has been on the radar of almost every top school in the nation for the last year.
Bryant said he has heard just about everything you can think of as it pertains to promises being made when he gets on campus in 2013. The lists go on and on, he said.
But at Oklahoma, the list stopped at one. There was just one thing OU running backs coach Cale Gundy promised Bryant if he committed to the Sooners.
"Coach Gundy never told me I was going to start. He never told me I had the chance to win the Heisman Trophy. The only opportunity he said I'll have is I will get a chance to play," Bryant said.
Bryant, 5-foot-10, 195 pounds and on the ESPNU Watch List, didn't plan to commit to OU on his unofficial visit this weekend. But he said after watching the Sooners practice and everything else from the weekend, his decision was made.
He let Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops know first about his commitment, and then Stoops announced it to the rest of the team.
One person who wasn't around at the time was Gundy, but Bryant did get a chance to tell Gundy later, and the celebration was on.
"It was almost all Coach Gundy. He's a big reason why I'm going here," Bryant said. "It was how humble and how honest he was about everything. No promises at all."
Bryant said the OU coaches never went out of its way to show they wanted him. The Sooners offered in October and there were some preliminary talks and that was it.
Gundy didn't try to bother Bryant. He didn't write him letters or call American Heritage to try to talk to Bryant.
"I didn't feel any love from OU," Bryant said. "Other schools were writing me like crazy. There was nothing like that from OU."
Until he stepped on campus. Bryant said the personal connection he made with Gundy and Stoops surprised even himself.
Gundy and Stoops helped explain things to Bryant during practice, and the more the running back watched practice, the more he knew he had found his future home.
"I know I can play here. I know this is the place for me. This is an easy decision," Bryant said. "I don't need to go home and think about it. I'm ready."
The commitment surprised Bryant, and it came as kind of a shock because running back is not a position of great urgency for the Sooners in the 2013 class.
|ESPNU Watch List RB Greg Bryant chose OU over offers from LSU, USC, Florida State, Georgia and others.|
But with 10 months until national signing day, the Sooners have two of the best running backs in the nation committed with Bryant and Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch). That doesn't mean Bryant will be looking around, though.
"No, I'm done," Bryant said. "I come from a family that once you make a decision like this, that's it. You commit, then you've committed."
The last two seasons have seen the Sooners take a different approach to recruiting. Instead of staying local in Oklahoma and Texas, OU has branched out to California, Florida and the Midwest.
Bryant spent a lot of time with the "Cali trio" of running back Brennan Clay, wide receiver Kenny Stills and defensive back Tony Jefferson on his unofficial visit. What Bryant said he learned is because the team is from all over, that's what helps make the bond so special.
"The entire team is from everywhere, and that's what makes everybody come together," Bryant said. "Players from California, Dallas, Florida, everywhere. But when they get to OU, they're all a family. It's one big family."
Bryant is OU's third commitment for the 2013 class, joining Ford and defensive end Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy).
"I know I can play here. I know this is the place for me. This is an easy decision.
-- New OU commit Greg Bryant
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