That wager paid off in a scholarship to FAU.
Late in his high school career the wide receiver moved from Florida to Georgia, where he was originally ruled ineligible to play football, causing him to miss the first few games of his senior season.
College recruiters backed away, prompting Bryant to forego Division II scholarships and enroll in junior college at College of the Sequoias in California.
He spent one year on the west coast, then signed with FAU on Wednesday – the first day of the NCAA’s 2019 early signing period.
“It feels really good,” Bryant said, “It was a long process. A lot of people said I probably wouldn’t be able to do it, but here we are.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound speedster caught 19 passes for 335 yards and four touchdowns in nine games for the College of the Sequoias.
His statistics likely would have been more impressive has the Giants not lost their top two quarterbacks to season ending injuries early in the year.
“He’s a really dynamic player,” College of the Sequoias coach Joe D’Agostino said. “I think he has explosive speed. He’s definitely a game changer. In football there’s not a lot of guys who are home run hitters and he’s definitely one.”
Bryant will enroll at FAU in January. He four years to complete his three seasons of eligibility.
“I think he could play in the Big 12,” D’Agostino said. “I think he could play in the PAC 12. I’m excited to see what he can do.”
Bryant nearly played in the Big 12. He appeared to be heading to Texas Tech before the Red Raiders made a coaching change.
Memphis made a late push for Bryant. San Diego St. also offered him, and after Bryant announced his commitment, several Power 5 schools called, D’Angostino said.
“I think they got a steal,” D’Agostino said. “I think he’s a Power 5 player. He’s got no ceiling.”
Bryant is one of eight players to sign with FAU on Wednesday.
Hutchinson C.C. linebacker Caliph Brice was the first confirmed signing for the Owls. He’ll help fill the void in a unit that lost four players to graduation.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Brice will likely play outside linebacker for the Owls. He’s rangy, a good tackler in space and is excellent in coverage.
“He’s very versatile,” Hutchinson co-defensive coordinator Alfred Davis said. “He could be be an outside of the box guy or an inside of the box guy – whatever you ask him to do.”
Miami-Southridge linebacker Diamante Howard also signed with FAU on Wednesday. He’ll also graduate high school this week and enroll at FAU in January.
FAU added a third linebacker when Tampa Tech’s Joe Lewis signed on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Lewis began his athletic career as a baseball player (center field), and his coach, Jayson Roberts, described Lewis as an “absolute freak” athlete.
“He plays linebacker but he covers guys like a DB,” Roberts said. “You don’t find that combination in a 6-2, 200-pound kid.”
FAU picked up a fourth linebacker when Miami-Palmetto’s Eddie Williams signed on Wednesday.
A linebacker/safety hybrid, Williams chose FAU over Marshall.
“I’ve been coaching 17 years down here in Miami, he’s the best football player I’ve ever coached,” Palmetto coach Mike Manasco said.
Pensacola-West Florida Tech’s Antarrius Moultrie is the fifth potential linebacker to sign with the Owls.
One of FAU’s earliest commits, Moultrie chose FAU over Tulane and Middle Tennessee.
“He’s a hitter,” West Florida Tech coach Rhett Summerford said. “Not scared of contact. Really versatile. He could be a safety or put in the box as a linebacker.”
The Owls also added another option at safety when Port St. Lucie-Centennial’s Dwight Toombs signed with FAU, announcing his decision at an afternoon ceremony at the school.
Toombs recorded 70 tackles, intercepted four passes and forced three fumbles as a senior. He made an official visit to FAU a couple of weeks ago, then traveled to Boca Raton again last weekend to meet new Owls’ defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer. Toombs can also play nickel.
He graduates high school on Friday and will enroll at FAU for the spring semester.
“It seems like a family,” Toombs said of FAU.
Homestead tight end Rahmod Smith will join his brother, linebacker Rashad Smith, at FAU. The 2019 season will be the first time the brothers play on the same football team. Rahmod was originally a basketball player in high school before joining the football team.
A UNLV commit until this week, Rahmod made an official visit to FAU this past weekend.
“The offensive style, it fits me,” Smith said.
Tallahassee-Rickards running back Kelvin Dean also expects to sign with FAU during the early signing period at a ceremony on Friday.
The Owls are also expecting former Alabama running back BJ Emmons to enroll in January. Emmons left the Crimson Tide to play at Hutchinson C.C., then signed with FAU back in February. He never enrolled at FAU, spending this fall completing academic requirements. When Emmons arrives in Boca Raton, he’ll be reuniting with his former offensive coordinator at Alabama, Lane Kiffin.
It is unclear whether Emmons technically signed another NLI to play for FAU on Wednesday, or whether re simply re-affirmed his previous commitment.
FAU hoped to add bulk to its offensive line, but the Owls’ two big targets both signed elsewhere. Fort Scott C.C. guard Desmond Noel signed with Colorado St., where he was committed, and Fort Lauderdale tackle Kaleb Boateng selected Clemson over the Owls.
For more on what FAU fans can expect as the signings come in, check our early signing preview.