Markaviest Bryant's nickname leaves a lot for him to live up to.
In 2016, the kid they call "Big Cat" did that and more.
The Crisp County defensive lineman has been selected to the Under Armour All-American Game, his head coach Shelton Felton tells WALB. Felton says there will be a ceremony honoring Bryant's selection in the near future.
Bryant found out about his selection Monday night, and says he's excited to show off his skills to the nation.
"My goal when I get there is just to get better," Bryant says. "I'm going there for the competition. There's going to be some bigger guys I've never seen, and it's just going to prepare me for the next level."
This season, Bryant helped lead the Cougars to a 13-1 record and the first state semifinal appearance since 1995. Bryant logged 102 total tackles and 15.5 sacks in 2016. He also had an interception and two fumble recoveries.
The Cougars lost in the state semifinals last Friday night, a 55-0 blowout loss at home to Cedar Grove. Bryant says having one final game as a Cougar is something he's looking forward to.
"With the way our season ended, I'm just really excited to play again," he says.
When Bryant steps on the field for the game in Orlando, he'll be following in the footsteps of some of the game's biggest stars. NFL standouts AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Jadeveon Clowney are just a few who have participated in the Under Armour game in the past.
But Bryant knows the guys he'll be competing against are future NFL stars, and that's what he's looking forward to the most.
"There's a lot of guys who are four-star, five star players," he says. "It's going to be a real big challenge, but I'm ready to get to work."
The Under Armour All-American Game will be played January 1, 2017 in Orlando, and will be aired live on ESPN. Bryant knows the stage he's stepping onto is much bigger than the Cougar Den, but he's ready to show the world who "Big Cat" is.
"It's going to be a first time experience for me," he laughs. "I haven't ever played in front of that many cameras being from south Georgia. That'll be a big difference, but I'll be ready for it."
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