Red Bryant #71 DT
Height: 6-4 Weight: 323 Age: 31
Born: 4/18/1984 Galveston Co. , TX
College: Texas A&M
Experience: 8th season
High School: Jasper HS [TX]
Selected By: Seattle Seahawks
Pick (Overall): 22 (121)
One of the terms used to describe a defensive lineman is that the player is an efficient "run stuffer." Perhaps no one player has been more important to his team in shutting down the opposition's running game than Joseph "Red" Bryant.
In the eight games that he appeared in for the Aggies in 2006, they allowed just 75.35 yards per game on the ground. In the five contests Bryant sat out due to a knee injury, TAMU was tagged for 229.2 yards per game rushing.
Selected one of the squad captains as a redshirt freshman, Bryant has dominated vs. the run since he first start in College Station. In three seasons in the middle of the Aggies' defense, Bryant has made 83 plays vs. the run, holding the opposition to only 46 yards (0.55 yards per attempt).
As a sophomore, he was a force, making 31 running plays that saw his opponent be held to an incredible minus-27 yards (minus-0.87-yard average). He followed that performance with 19 running plays for 12 yards (0.63-yard average) during his injury-shortened junior year.
At Jasper High School, Bryant earned first-team 3A All-State honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association and was one of eight finalists for the Willie Ray Smith Award, presented to the top offensive and defensive players in Southeast Texas. The consensus Texas Top 100 recruit added District and Golden Triangle Defensive Most Valuable Player honors during his senior season.
Bryant was the recipient of the 2001 District Defensive Player of the Year Award and was named the Southeast Texas Defensive Player of the Year by the Beaumont Enterprise. In addition to starring on the gridiron, Red also was a standout forward on the school's basketball team.
Bryant enrolled at Texas A&M in 2003, competing on the scout team, earning that squad's Defensive Work MVP accolades. He was a "4x4" performer during the team's 2004 off-season conditioning program, tying the school record in the hang clean (385 pounds, but has since set a new mark at 407 pounds). He was so well-respected by his teammates that he was named to the Leadership Council and served as game captain in his first year with the varsity.
In 2004, Bryant took over nose tackle duties, starting all 12 contests. He earned Freshman All-American and All-Big Twelve Conference honors from The Gridiron Report, as he totaled 34 tackles (nine solo) with an assisted sack, 3 1/2 stops behind the line of scrimmage and three quarterback pressures. He also deflected two passes and blocked a kick. In 33 plays vs. the run, the opposition managed just 61 yards (1.85 yards per carry) vs. Bryant.
Bryant added All-Big Twelve Conference first-team and All-American third-team honors from The NFL Draft Report in 2005. He recorded just 30 tackles (eight solo) with three sacks, 8 1/2 stops for losses and a pressure, but also caused two fumbles and deflected a pass. It was his dominance vs. the run that stood out. In 31 running plays, he held the opposition to minus-27 yards (minus-0.87-yard average). What makes that figure even more impressive was the fact that the rest of the Aggies' defense struggled. TAMU allowed 139.18 yards per game on the ground and ranked 107th in the nation, giving up 443.82 yards in total offense per game.
The team's permanent captain proved what a leadership was all about in 2006. He again manhandled the opposition in the trenches as a junior, making 19 plays vs. the run that netted the opposition just 12 yards (0.63-yard average). He made a valiant effort to play with an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, but he agreed to have surgery prior to the Texas game.
In nine games, he had 19 tackles (seven solo), a sack, 2 1/2 stops behind the line of scrimmage, five pass deflections and a blocked kick. With Bryant sidelined, the team gave up 229.2 yards per game on the ground in their final five contests. However, thanks to his stellar play in the first nine games, the Aggies' defense showed marked improvement, allowing 322.62 yards per game in total offense, compared to 443.82 yards the previous season.
Back on the playing field in 2007, Bryant continued his dominance vs. the run, as he allowed 43 yards on 42 plays directed at him (team gave up 1,491 yards on the ground) in the team's first 10 games. He recorded 41 tackles (11 solo) with an 11-yard sack, six stops for losses of 19 yards and seven quarterback pressures. He also registered a safety on his only QB sack, blocked a field goal and caused a fumble that set up an A&M touchdown drive.
In 42 games at Texas A&M, Bryant started 41 games. He recorded 124 tackles (37 solo) with 6 1/2 sacks for minus-53 yards, 20 1/2 stops for losses of 92 yards and 12 quarterback pressures. He caused three fumbles, deflected nine passes, blocked three kicks and recorded a safety.