The 90 Illini #27: Pat Bryant
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I just did a radio spot on WDWS and Loren Tate asked me to pick a player who bursts onto the scene this year. On offense, I picked Pat Bryant. So now I'm going to write about a true sophomore who, as of this afternoon, is a player I'm saying will burst onto the scene this season. It's not very often that a true sophomore is ready for a scene burst, but hey, I put it out there so now I have to run with it.
Hard to remember a player I've hyped as much as Pat Bryant. His 247 Composite score was .8519, so let me look up a few other recruiting classes to see what players are close to that. In 2022, Ashton Hollins was .8511, so there's one comp. Let me go back a few years for another one. Let's say the 2018 class. The closest player to Bryant's composite score is... Kievan Myers (.8513). So this is like me taking Kievan Myers or Ashton Hollins and claiming that they're going to have breakout seasons as true sophomores. Players ranked as mid three-stars have second-year breakouts maybe... 3% of the time?
But the hype is already out there. I rated him 3.5 Cruises which tied for the highest Cruise rating I handed out in the 2021 class. I gave him my Asamoah Award (given to the player who I think will play well above his high school ranking). Last year he was the highest-ranked true freshman on my 90 Illini list. And this year he's the highest ranked sophomore. I apparently cannot stop hyping Pat Bryant.
And now I've gone on record saying he bursts onto the scene this season. There's about a 3% chance that happens, but hey, I've come this far. I'll just keep the hype train going until it doesn't happen.
27. Pat Bryant
Uniform number: 13
Year in school: Sophomore (4 years to play 3)
Height: 6'-3" -- Weight: 195 lbs.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
High School: Atlantic Coast HS
Five best offers: Florida State, Penn State, Miami, Nebraska, Iowa
Tom Cruise rating:
2021 statistics: Played in 10 games as a true freshman, starting three. Six catches for 98 yards.
Some of those offers there were from his sophomore year and fell under the category of "possibly committable, possibly not." Here's the bullet points I put together in his LLUOI article from June of 2020:
- Last fall, it looks like he visited FSU for two games (and maybe Nebraska?). Then his tweets all focus on his injury - halfway through his junior season, a torn labrum. Most tweets are about his rehab from that injury. He talks about it in this article.
- In November and December he adds Penn State, Indiana, and Syracuse. The article above said he planned visits to Penn State and Syracuse this spring. Not sure if he took those but I'm assuming Covid shut them down.
- OK, so now we're in the big offseason. He's a rising senior, the period of time which is everything as far as offers and rankings go. He announces a top-6 in January of Florida State, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska.
- After that top-6, he adds offers from Iowa, Virginia, Minnesota, Arkansas, Illinois, and Vanderbilt.
- June 6th he announces that he's making his decision this past Sunday, a few days later he announces his final two are West Virginia and Illinois, and on Sunday he verbals to Illinois.
So most likely, he chose Illinois over Iowa, Virginia, Minnesota, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia. It's not beating Penn State and Miami, but still, that's a solid get. Last season he played in 10 games and had 98 yards receiving and now he returns looking for a sophomore leap.
I just put together that list of "snaps per game" for the Miles Scott article - let me go copy it over here:
Isaiah Williams - 41 snaps per game
Casey Washington - 40
Donny Navarro - 34
Pat Bryant - 18
Carlos Sandy - 16
Miles Scott - 11
Khmari Thompson - 11
Dalevonn Campbell - 9
Deuce Spann - 7
Brian Hightower - 6
So this one seems pretty simple. Heavy use of three receivers last year (IW, Casey, and Donny). Donny transferred to Northwestern (sniff) in the offseason. Pat Bryant was fourth on this list, so slide him up to third. I think there will be three receivers getting the bulk of the snaps this fall and I think those three receivers will be Isaiah Williams, Casey Washington, and Pat Bryant.