Choo Choo the Cardinal train made another stop on the recruiting trail in FL. 3 Star DT Henry Bryant has committed to the Cards.
— Henry Bryant III (@HenryBryantIII1) June 13, 2019
The 5’11 275 lbs Bryant chose UofL over offers from NC State, Iowa State, Duke, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and UK, among others. Co-DC/OLB Coach Cort Dennison and Defensive Line Coach Mark Ivey were Bryant’s primary recruiters. Per 247sports, Bryant is the 37th best DT in the nation. In 247’s composite rankings, he is ranked the 57th best.
Standing at only 5’11, Bryant is built like a wrecking ball; a swift, powerful force that devastates offenses. UofL coaches favor agile and powerful DL and Bryant fits the bill. He plays for Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, FL.
In watching his highlights, I can see Bryant is a strong, agile, fast player on the field. Stop me if you’ve heard this one in regards to other recruits, but he is explosive at the snap of the ball. He’s very strong and it’s exhibited in his block shedding and pass rushing. He’s so very quick and agile that he is able to sometimes go unblocked into the backfield. Bryant just lives in the backfield of his opponent and he’s good at tackling; often engulfing the ball carrier and driving or throwing them down. He plays with a ton of energy and he wants to make every tackle.
Now that we have a broad overview of his abilities, let’s look in a little more detail at some of those abilities.
Explosive Off The Snap
The very first thing that stands out on Bryant’s highlights and, maybe his greatest gift, is his explosiveness at the snap. He goes from a 3 or 4 point stance to 100 mph in a second it seems. It allows him to often times already be by the OL and into the backfield. In the event an OL is able to be in position to block, he uses the ability to get right into the lineman and prevent him from getting his hands on him and get his arms extended. It also knocks the lineman off balance and allows him nearly unfettered access to the backfield.
In many of his highlights, you see Bryant either get barely touched or not at all touched after the snap precisely because of his explosive quickness at the snap.
Bryant is only 5’11 275 lbs, but he’s not fat. He’s muscle and it shows. In quite a few of his highlights, Bryant just blasts through or bull rushes blockers and gets in the backfield.
There is one particular highlight I think exhibits Bryant’s unmitigated strength. He’s lined up on a OG. At the snap, the the lineman engages a block. It appears he has Bryant well blocked and sealed off from the play. Bryant feints slightly to the B gap side, but it is just to get the lineman off balance ever so slightly. He then grabs the lineman, yanks him and throws him to his right about a yard and a half, and then moves down the length of the line quickly to tackle the ball carrier.
He uses this move one other time in the highlights. Bryant is lined up on the left side of his line. At the snap, he immediately tries to rush through the A gap. The OG is able to block this well. It just so happens the QB decides to escape to the left. Bryant simply throws the OG to the right, and nearly flat on his face, and makes the sack.
In another play, he simply pushes the lineman straight back and then he yanks the lineman to his right, discards him, and goes and brings down the ball carrier on his left. The lineman was bigger, but he stayed lower, had leverage, and the lineman was at his mercy.
Yes, Bryant is very strong, but he’s also very quick and has good speed for a DT. In fact, he ran a 5.01 40 according to 247sports. It shows in the highlights. Often times, he beats the offensive lineman to the gap and is basically untouched going into the backfield. He will be going as fast as possible at the snap catching linemen off guard and, when they are off balance, make a slight move to one gap or the other and blow right by the poor lineman.
Another thing he does that I love is immediately get into the body of the blocker before the blocker can anchor and get their long arms extended. He goes fast into their chest and stays close. Then he extends his arms and shoves them back a couple yards using his strength and frees himself to make a play. It’s a move that’s only possible, in my opinion, because he is fast and is able to get into the blocker’s body before they can react.
There’s a nice swim move Bryant uses as well. In one highlight, he gets off the snap quick and accelerates quickly into the body of the blocker. He then just brings his right arm over top of the lineman as he angles his body left and then leaves the poor smuck in the dust.
Once Bryant gets by the line, he goes and is able to chase down QBs or RBs in the backfield. Even faster QBs have a tough time avoiding him because he’s on them so quickly and can change direction quickly unlike more burly, lumbering DTs. He’s almost like a DE.
Bryant is a really effective tackler. He loves mauling guys and driving them into the ground. He also likes to sling and throw them to the ground. He exhibits a strong grip as there were at least two occassions where he grabbed the shirt tails of a ball carrier and yanked them down. He definitely thumps his opponents and enjoys doing it.
It seems like I close out every evaluation with this, but every commit has a high motor and a nasty, take no prisoners attitude. Bryant is in this mold. Every play he launches himself like a plane off an aircraft carrier. He never stops going; constantly pushing and trying to get off blocks or make the tackle. Bryant wants to make every single tackle. He’s selfish in that regard and it’s something I think we can all love.
His attitude is energetic and mean. He wants to embarrass blockers and punish QBs and RBs. He doesn’t just seek to bring a guy to the ground, oh no, he seeks to drive the guy to the center of the earth or throw him into the stands. He doesn’t go beyond the rules, he just wants to send a message to the offense that he will be a thorn in their side all night long.
The wrecking ball named Henry Bryant is a great pickup for UofL. Don’t just look at his size. Watch his highlights and see the football player I saw; an unbelievably quick, powerful, agile monster. In fact, I think his size allows him to stay low and maintain his center of gravity; in football, the low man wins. Bryant just sets up camp in the backfield of his opponent. His effort, attitude, and explosive play make him a top flight DT.
Scott Satterfield favors defensive linemen that are agile and quick while being strong. Henry Bryant fits the bill. Mark Ivey will love coaching this young player. Bryant has such high potential. To be honest, his size and blend of strength and agility remind me a little of Elvis Dumervil; except this guy is about 25 lbs heavier. It’ll be fun to watch Bryant’s development over the next 3-4 years.
With Bryant’s commitment, UofL is now at 10 commits in the 2020 class. The class as a whole is ranked 32nd nationally on 247sports. The Cardinal train keeps on rolling down the recruiting trail.