Bryant overcoming rough past
Clemson WR, Calhoun Falls native coming into his own
Sunday, January 05, 2014 12:27 AM
Clemson wide receiver and Calhoun Falls native Martavis Bryant (1) catches a touchdown pass in Friday night's 40-35 victory against Ohio State in the Discover Orange Bowl
MIAMI SHORES, Fla. — Despite how easy he made touchdowns look during Friday’s Orange Bowl, it hasn’t been the easiest road for Clemson junior receiver Martavis Bryant.
The Calhoun Falls native had to leap his share of hurdles as well as defensive backs on a journey that now seems destined for the NFL.
Bryant had just three catches for 28 yards in No. 12 Clemson’s 40-35 win against No. 6 Ohio State in Miami, but two of those were leaping, highlight-reel TD grabs over defenders. The second TD catch, which gave Clemson a 34-29 lead, saw Bryant getting grabbed and pushed towards the back of the end zone. But he managed to leap and secure the ball over the back of the defensive back and stay in bounds for the score.
“Once we’re inside the 10, I know (Tajh) will be looking for me,” Bryant said following the game. “I just knew I had to go up and get it. I couldn’t worry about what the (defensive back) was doing.”
Those receptions, and a season average of 20.4 yards per catch, have Bryant projected by some as a second-round NFL draft pick. Of course, that would mean him leaving school a year early.
A decision could come as early as today.
His former high school coach, Kenya Fouch, said he isn’t sure which way Bryant is leaning, but he is sure of one thing: when his time comes, he’s going to turn heads.
“He’s going to destroy the the NFL Combine,” Fouch said. “This is a 6-5, 210-pound guy who can run in the high 4.3's and broad jump near 11 feet. He’s going to catch the eye of a lot of NFL guys.
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