Don’t believe it? Ask anyone.
Today, ask the Associated Press voters. They made Bryant the first FAU player ever selected as an All-American.
“Can we find a redshirt somehow?” interim FAU coach Glenn Spencer quipped upon learning of Bryant’s latest award.
Last week Bryant became the first player from a non-Power Five team to win the Mackey Award, presented to the nation’s best tight end.
“I think at the beginning of the season [running backs coach Kevin] Smith used to say to [tight ends coach Clint] Trickett and I to drive him to the Mackey,” offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said. “He drove himself to the Mackey. He did it. When you’ve got a phenomenal player like him or like we had (Devin Singletary) the year before, that’s just the guy you’ve got to get the ball as much as you can and be creative and do different things. That’s what we did with him this season.”
The Associated Press named Singletary to its third team following the 2017 season. Bryant is one of only two Group of Five players to earn AP All-American honors this season, joining Louisiana-Lafayette guard Kevin Dotson.
Since the regular season concluded Bryant’s also been named a Sports Illustrated All-American and earned All-Conference USA honors. Pro Football Focus really loves Bryant, naming him an All-America and its C-USA Player of the Year.
Bryant, a senior, leads all tight ends nationally with 65 catches and 1,004 receiving yards. He ranks fourth nationally among tight ends with seven touchdowns, all coming in his last six games.
“He absolutely crushed it,” Weis said. “He’s the best kid there could be. There’s no one I’d be happier for to win the award and get the recognition he deserves.”
The only negative for Bryant since FAU claimed the Conference USA title is that he’s been battling an illness since leaving for Atlanta to claim the Mackey Award.
On of several Owls battling illness, Bryant has yet to participate in a practice for Saturday’s Boca Raton Bowl against Southern Methodist.
A certain selection in the NFL’s 2020 draft, Bryant may have elected to skip the Boca Bowl even before the illness in an effort to avoid injury.
Spencer said on Monday he doesn’t know whether Bryant will play on Saturday.