For the UCF football program to continue to climb to the heights in which it desires, keeping top talent home has been and will continue to be a priority. Case in point, 2023 national recruit Malik Bryant came to the UCF campus today to visit the football program.
As the Knights and Head Coach Gus Malzahn continue to recruit the state of Florida hard, Bryant is a prospect the UCF coaching staff was excited to see walk onto into the football offices. The Floridian with offers from programs like Oregon, Texas A&M, LSU, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and Ohio State, the UCF football staff is certainly going after elite talent.
Of course the Knights have also extended Bryant an offer as well, and will be looking to host Bryant for as many unofficial visits as possible this upcoming football season. He is a long way from making a formal college decision, but the 6’3”, 225-pound talent is listening to several programs, UCF included. A few thoughts about Bryant’s skills are as follows.
Bryant is a front seven defensive prospect that could play inside linebacker, outside linebacker, or place his hand in the dirt and be a pure pass rusher. With natural first-step explosiveness and a penchant for timing his first movement at the snap of the football, playing the outside linebacker position so he can chase the quarterback is a likely college role. He plays for IMG Academy in nearby Bradenton, Fla., and Bryant has already learned how to consistently use his hands to defeat offensive tackles. Watch Bryant knock down the offensive tackle’s hands during this first clip.
This next clip demonstrates the quickness of Bryant, as well as his penchant for taking a direct route to the passer. From an athleticism standpoint, watch him change direction once turning the corner towards the quarterback. Then, he chases down the passer and creates an opportunity for a turnover by knocking the football loose, creating a huge play for IMG Academy.
The final clip below provides insight into what many highly touted prospects fail to do: finish a play. The football goes away from Bryant’s side of the formation, but he did not hesitate to continue towards the ball carrier. He was rewarded with a fumble recovery, and then he ran it back to the end zone for a touchdown.
Bryant is not your usual high school prospect. With two years of prep football remaining, he’s already advanced his physical talents with hard work and sweat. Perhaps just as importantly, Bryant’s effort to learn pass rushing technique and playing hard is an even bigger accomplishment. As for Bryant’s recruitment, more will be known fairly soon.
College coaches can call juniors on Sep. 1 of each year. Once that opportunity arises, there’s a great deal of communication that can and will take place. Phone calls aside, unofficial visits are still a big part of the recruiting process. Just like today when Bryant unofficially visited UCF, the entire UCF coaching staff will happily welcome him back for an unofficial visit at any time.