Gary Bryant Jr. Brings Serious Ability to USC

WR Gary Bryant Jr is The Press-Enterprise’s Offensive Player of the Year for the 2019 football season, (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

Eric-Paul Johnson (The Press-Enterprise)  — Gary Bryant Jr. finished second behind Javon McKinley (2016 4-star recruit who chose Notre Dame and was arrested by ND campus police in Feb 2019 and charged with three misdemeanors, including two Class A counts of battery.) on Centennial’s all-time list for receiving yards (2,907) and receptions (147). Centennial football coach Matt Logan could have rattled off any number of adjectives to describe Bryant’s play on the field, but one word quickly popped into Logan’s head.

“Smooth,” Logan said about his slot receiver. “Everything Gary does looks very effortless, whether it is running routes, catching the ball or maneuvering around after a catch. All of it is so smooth.”

Bryant was a running back when he first starting playing football but quickly switched to receiver.

Bryant’s first highlight reel appeared on YouTube about six years ago while playing youth football for the Inland Empire Ducks in Moreno Valley. He also was a youth track standout, running first for the Moreno Valley Rockets and later for Next Level Athletics. Bryant’s speed (4.46 40) and precise route -running helped him become one of the Inland area’s most exciting playmakers.

“I just love that feeling of having the ball in my hands and making plays,” said Bryant, a four-star recruit with more than two dozen college offers before committing publicly to USC. “I think my greatest strength is making plays with my legs. I love being in open space and turning a quick 5-yard route into a long touchdown.”

Bryant’s numbers would be more impressive if Centennial did not have so many blowout wins over the past three seasons. However, he has delivered a number of eye-opening performances during his time with the Huskies. In his first start as a sophomore, Bryant had five catches for 163 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburg. He had an eight-catch, 108-yard effort versus St. John Bosco in a CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinal game later that season. Bryant’s junior year began with him hauling in nine catches for 265 yards and three touchdowns against Chandler (Arizona).

Bryant was one of the few bright spots in Centennial’s 2019 season opener against Mater Dei, as he finished with seven catches for 166 yards. Three weeks later, Bryant had nine catches for 234 yards and set a program record with five touchdown catches in Centennial’s win over Liberty (Nevada).

“In our toughest and most competitive games, he usually is our top weapon out there,” Logan said. “I feel sorry for him and some of our other guys because they don’t always get as many touches as we’d like them to have because of the score. But when we need it most, Gary always seems to step up.”

pe.com

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Eastern Ave.
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ED OGERON ON THE RADIO KLAC 570 WITH PETROS AND MONEY.
LSU HAS A STRONG LA RADIO PRESENCE.

I LOVE HEARING HIS VOICE.

TOO BAD USC PASSED ON HIM.

Steveg
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USC (the people) wanted him, but lord Haden needed someone much more sophisticated. We end up with CH

Eastern Ave.
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Interesting note from the radio interview is that Coach O has loyalties from parents. They are recruiting for him. He said “I don’t expect to get 20 kids from SO CAL, But the 4 or 5 we get will be GREAT”… The moms and dads of the elite football players are sending their boys to the SEC. They are recruiting for Coach O…

Jamaica
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I wouldn’t put “lord” in front of Haden’s name. If he ever reads it, it will build up his ego more than what it already is and have problems getting his head thru doorways.

TrojanMPA90
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Let’s be realistic about the situation. Coach O would have been great for us but what killed his chances was losing to UCLA and Notre Dame. Very few of us wanted him at the time in spite of what people are now saying.

RialtoTrojan
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Wade Phillips was let go, so it is plausible that the Joe Barry interview was an attempt to get a raise. It’s pretty much known that, “go on a date with USC and you get a raise” is a real thing. As for Rocky Long, I wondered why a head coach would want a position job (or coordinator) so I guess he might be using the same gambit.
Unfortunately Helton is the ultimate wallflower at the dance, by the time he works up the nerve to ask a girl to dance, all of the good ones are taken.

Chris
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Rocky long would be great for a multitude of reasons.

1. He’s a really good coordinator and coach.
2. He’s a Southern California coach with recruiting ties.
3. He’s a culture setter, won’t tolerate soft practices.
4. He’s a perfect interim if Clay is let go, which I believe Bohn wants to do.

Which leads me to believe he will not end up here.

volunteerTrojan
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Introducing myself in this inaugural post, and as they say in radio, “Long time listener, first time caller.” First things…about my moniker. Since ’87, I am a Southern Californian transplanted from Minnesota via a short stay in North Dakota and a long stay in Tennessee. This eclectic background has resulted in fractured but workable sports loyalties. Vikings, Twins and Lakers in the pros for obvious reasons. NDSU in the FCS. And USC and Tennessee in CFB. And the important thing…USC/UT…how does that work? As a kid in TN in the 70s, with TV access to sports as it was, we… Read more »

UtahTrojan
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Welcome VT, I spent a couple years of my youth in Nashville as well (76-78), my older sister went to UT. I also did not go to USC, but have been a livelong fan due to my father being an alum. Your opinions are always welcome here.

Steveg
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Nothing wrong with UT, I had one son graduate from there. Always loved their spirit and support and it was so much fun going to a real game. Glad you saw the light, USC rocks. Welcome aboard

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Hi VT — great post and don’t be shy about posting more in the future! I feel for you right now as a fan of both UT and USC — not a lot of sunshine to soak up there! Just like a guy I work with who is a Texas and USC fan. But hey, things will change!

Steveg
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It is great to see we can still get quality WR’s to help Slovis out. I do think Harrell coming back weighed in his decision.

Rock2112
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Steve, in my view, Graham Harrell is still a band-aid over a bad wound and — unless he has room to grow — not a long-term answer to returning to national prominence. This season played out exactly as I predicted in the offseason — i.e., that our offense would improve and our defense would take a step back, and that we would most likely finish 8-4. I saw an interesting graphic during Saturday’s NFL playoff games. For all the “changing face of football” comments going around about passing offenses and spread looks being the future or even new reality, the… Read more »

UtahTrojan
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Rock,
Your last comment is the one that I have been wondering about the most. In signing Harrell, what have we locked ourselves into and does this mean we have Clay until 2023. If so, God help us.

Jamaica
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You have to play real defense to win national championships and this soft practicing arm-tackling USC defense isn’t going to get us there no matter how well GH coaches our offense. To someone like Clay Helton, being able to boast “we are conference divisional champs” is what he thinks will keep him a administration favorite.

fast fred
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Great post! As I mentioned when Harrell was hired, this is an asst coach—not the main man! This is not the SC football way! You are right, its just a band-aid!

trojandn
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Looking forward to seeing the “Greatest Show On Turf – College Edition” in 2021…