Curtis Bryant's sole intent when he takes the football field is to be a disruptive force. Ask Bradwell Institute's opposing coaches, and you will find he has accomplished his goal.
"I try to do my job and disrupt the offense as much as possible," says Bryant. "I'm not going to let anybody block me. I'm going to get off the blocks. If you try to maintain your blocks, I'm not going to let you do it. I'm going to get off as quick as possible. Then, I go to the ball."
"Since I've been there, defense is what we've hung our hat on," says Tigers' Coach Jim Walsh, Jr. "We try to put our most aggressive kids on that side of the ball. Our scheme is always going to be developed around a few of our kids that are a part of our defense. Curtis is a guy who falls along the lines of a Gary Guyton."
Guyton, now a senior linebacker at Georgia Tech, is a former WTOC Super 11 All-Star. He is just one of many great defensive players to take the field for the Tigers over the years and Guyton has set the standard by which everyone who follows will be judged, "You see that and think, I've got to live up to that," says Bryant. "That's what I've got to do. I'm not going to let this defense fail because I'm not doing my job."
"He set a precedent for our linebackers of what we expect," says Walsh about Guyton. "We're very fortunate to have had kids with a defensive mentality. Curtis definitely follows along in that suit."
Bryant adds, "You find a player who you want to be like and you do exactly what they do. That's what I did."
Walsh feels that Bryant can live up to that standard, "He's a strong player, great speed, he has a knack of getting to the ball. He understands what has to be done. He's a highly competitive kid."
For Coach Walsh, he feels the Tigers' defense will be strong this year because Bryant will be that disruptive force and allow other players to make plays, also. "We rely on him for his physical abilities, but also the mental aspect of the game," says Walsh. "He does a great job of understanding what we're trying to do against a certain team, defensively. He checks a lot of our coverages, a lot of our stunts and fronts, and so he's a complete package. He can direct traffic and at the same time do what he has to do to make us successful defensively."
Bryant knows what his responsibilities will be in the upcoming season. "I've got to lead, lead by example," says Bryant. "No guts, no glory, you've got to go hard."
Bryant also has to do a lot of preparation for each game. He has to know the opponent inside and out and he has to know his Tiger teammates and what they have to do. It takes a lot of prep time. "Especially in our linebacking corps, they do a lot," says Walsh. "Tendencies, things we're going to see out of our opponent, things we're going to have to do, adjustments we're going to have to make and Curtis is one those guys you can talk about it Monday before practice and during Monday's practice he's already making the checks. He has a complete understanding of what has to take place."
Bryant has a nose for the football and likes to make big hits, but going out of his way to make those bruising tackles that makes the ball carrier groan is not what he is on the field to do, "It's nice to hear that sound, but I want to make the tackle, no missed tackles is my motto. Defense is something you have to have in you, you've got to have to have that meanness in you, you like hitting people, that's what you're going to do."
With that kind of attitude, Bryant should make some college coach somewhere very happy. He said he would like to stay close to home, but the main thing is to be in college in 2008.