The lesson learned Tuesday could be savored.
Senior Bowl officials sent Kiffin tight end Harrison Bryant’s invitation to play in their postseason all-star game. Kiffin, in turn, experienced the joy of passing the news to Bryant.
“I have never had a kid come over to me a thank me for coaching him to the level where he gets to the senior bowl,” Kiffin said. “It was a first for me too.”
While coaching at big-name programs like USC, Tennessee and Alabama, Kiffin never really went near the invites, assuming those high-profile players expected to play in all-star games.
Bryant accepted the invitation, and if all goes as expected he’ll become the third FAU player to play in the Senior Bowl.
“Last night I was at home, just ate dinner and just sitting there coach Kiffin was like, Can you come by the (Oxley Center)?” Bryant said. “I said on my way and I went upstairs and he handed it to me, it was a cool surprise.”
For Kiffin, Bryant is his first Senior Bowl invite since coaching at FAU.
Harrison improved from six receptions for 63 yards as a freshman year to 32 catches for 408 yards his sophomore, Kiffin’s first year.
Since his sophomore year, Bryant has shown he is a top tight end in college football. He currently leads all tight ends nationally with 44 receptions for 651 yards receiving this season.
“Four years ago if you told me this when I came in, I was 215 pounds. I would have laughed at you,” said Bryant.
Bryant is FAU’s leading receiver by two receptions over DeAngelo Antoine and leads in receiving yards, too.
The tight end joins the ranks of running back Alfred Morris and cornerback D’Joun Smith to be selected to the Senior Bowl. The Reeses Senior Bowl is held on Saturday, January 25th at 2:30 in Mobile, Ala.