Auburn defensive end Big Kat Bryant (real name Markaviest Bryant) is expected to have a breakout junior season in 2019 after playing a supporting role on Auburn’s defensive line his first two seasons on campus.
The Crisp County, Georgia native has not gone by Markaviest in years. Bryant has spoken publicly before about how the nickname started with his mother, who called him Cat as a child. Family and friends picked it up quickly, as did coaches and teammates when he got to high school. But during the middle of practice his junior year, his former coach, Shelton Felton, yelled to Bryant, "Big Cat, bring you a-- here!" and the Big Cat name was born.
The 6'5", 253-pound defensive lineman was recruited by his given name but was soon listed initially as Big Cat on Auburn's roster. Bryant then decided he wanted to keep some of his given name in his new moniker and so, Big Kat, the version–with a 'K'–was born.
Bryant has tallied a total of 23 tackles (18 of which came in 2018), with 6.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks, through his first two years with the Tigers. He also has four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a 20-yard pick-six to his name—the latter of which closed out his sophomore campaign in the Music City Bowl vs. Purdue.
According to Auburn's website, Big Kat "enjoys hunting and fishing" in his spare time and is a student in the College of Engineering.