Markaviest Bryant, the 4-star DE from Crisp County (Ga.), will make his final decision at 11:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday. He is deciding between Auburn, Georgia and LSU.
Here are 3 things to know about Bryant before National Signing Day:
1. They call him ‘Big Cat’
You probably already knew that. It’s in his Twitter handle. It’s referenced in almost every recruiting article about the 4-star pass rusher. His coaches call him that. His teammates call him that. Bryant’s own mother even calls him the sometimes.
But did you know how it originated?
All you have to do is look at his style of play to understand it. Bryant is a speedy edge rusher who, when he adds strength, is going to be a force in years to come. One day at practice, one of his coaches marveled at Bryant’s cat-like reflexes, saying “Markaviest, you remind me of a ‘Big Cat.'”
A nickname was born.
2. Cousins with Auburn standout
Bryant is from the state of Georgia in a small town called Cordele. It’s in Crisp County. It’s also the original home of Auburn defensive lineman Montravius Adams, who ended up playing his high school ball in Dooly County.
It’s not a coincidence the two defensive stalwarts are from he same area — they’re cousins.
That played a key role throughout Bryant’s recruitment, and not necessarily for pro-Auburn reasons. Adams went through the process himself as a top-10 prospect in the nation. He somewhat shockingly chose Auburn over Georgia, Alabama and Clemson. Bryant has relied heavily on Adams’ input throughout the process.
The two talk almost on a weekly basis. It’s rarely about football, but Adams was there to give recruiting advice whenever requested.
Semi-related: Shelton Felton was Adams’ defensive line coach at Dooly County. He is now Bryant’s head coach at Crisp County.
3. Could be a package deal … next year
An interesting dynamic in the Bryant sweepstakes is the connection to 2018 prospect Quay Walker.
Walker is Bryant’s high school teammate at Crisp County, and the tandem stay in close communication about all things recruiting. This combo situation might come more into play for Georgia and Auburn than LSU because Walker is heavily considering the first two over the latter for the time being.
Walker is the No. 284 prospect in the nation for the junior class, but all indications are he will skyrocket up the list. Coaches of Bryant and Walker rave about Bryant, but they really rave about Walker.
This isn’t meant to slight Bryant, who is an exceptional, SEC-caliber player in his own right. But schools know this has the opportunity to be a major 2-for-1 deal. For Georgia especially, a Bryant commitment would go a long way to securing another pass rusher in the future.