Detroit Lion Austin Bryant returns home to host Thomasville football camp

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Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 11:14 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2022 at 1:38 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Detroit Lions outside linebacker Austin Bryant, originally from Pavo which is 17 miles down the road, hosted his first camp in Jackets Nest Stadium Saturday.

That’s where he earned his stripes at Thomas County Central High School.

This is something he has been eager to do since he got into the NFL in 2019, but better late than never and the kids were thrilled to get out and run through his drills.

Anybody who follows the NFL has heard about the Lion’s head football coach, Dan Campbell’s mentality he wants the team to have, which is “Bite people’s kneecaps off”.

Bryant said that’s something South Georgia kids already know about.

“I wouldn’t say it’s something I have to instill, it’s something I think all these kids from South Georgia have that in them already because I know I take that same chip on my shoulder when I go into these NFL locker rooms,” he said. “So it’s not about trying to instill it, it’s about bringing out what’s already there so that’s my whole mission today, and hopefully if we could touch one man and we can touch a lot of people.”

Detroit Lions outside linebacker Austin Bryant said he doesn't have to instill a savage...
Detroit Lions outside linebacker Austin Bryant said he doesn't have to instill a savage mentality into South Georgia's youth because it's already in them(WALB)

Justin Rogers, head football coach at Thomas County Central, said Bryant’s lessons will have a huge impact on the community.

“We went two years without doing these kinds of things, so these guys (are) getting back into the community, giving back to kids and bringing large groups together again,” he said. “Getting just fellowship having fun over football and getting better is awesome. It’s just awesome to be here and all his former teammates at Clemson and all the guys he has down here is just exciting on the community.”

Thomas County Central head football coach, Justin Rogers said It was awesome to be there and to...
Thomas County Central head football coach, Justin Rogers said It was awesome to be there and to have Bryant's former teammates from Clemson was exciting for the community(WALB)

Bryant also brought his Clemson teammates, Miami Dolphins defensive tackle, Christin Wilkins, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end, Clien Ferrell and New York Giant’s defensive tackle Dexter Lawerence.

WALB’s Keshawn Ward worked with Ferrell on the Raiders in Oakland.

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christin Wilkins at his former teammate Austin Bryant's camp
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christin Wilkins at his former teammate Austin Bryant's camp(WALB)

Rogers believes this caliber of talent will open the youth’s eyes to how it’s done.

New York Giants defesive tackle Dexter Lawrence running drills at his former teammate Austin...
New York Giants defesive tackle Dexter Lawrence running drills at his former teammate Austin Bryant's camp(WALB)

“My three guys best friends and it’s just a blessing that we’ve been able to stay friends this long and also keep that same connection we had in college. So I’m grateful for them to come out here and impart some wisdom on the kids, interacting and really taking time to inspire the youth of my community and I don’t take it lightly,” said Bryant.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clien Ferrell instructing kids at his former teammate Austin...
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clien Ferrell instructing kids at his former teammate Austin Bryant's camp(WALB)

Rogers said he was more than happy to also give back to the community.

“You do more and accomplish more with others. You got to be willing to give back. If you’re looking for blessings be a blessing. So we want to be able to give back, so they get to see successful people model that,” said Rogers.

Bryant said he plans to have this camp next year around the same time.

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