Huskies' Hunter Bryant: 'I've grown a lot'

His team has struggled this season, but UW tight end has upped his game
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Somebody asked Hunter Bryant the other day if he was leaving early for the pros following the season.

Washington's junior tight end politely rebuffed his inquisitor, indicating he didn't want to talk about the NFL at this time.

It was a fair question, though. 

Bryant has played well enough in his first injury-free season as a collegian that the NFL doesn't seem that far off for him. An elusive hybrid wideout/tight end, he's come up with 46 receptions for 729 yards and scored three times. He acknowledged taking his game up a level.

"I've personally grown a lot in run-blocking and I've had a bigger role in the offense," he said. "I do a lot more and I'm happier with that."

Entering the 112th Apple Cup on Friday at Husky Stadium, should it turn into a shootout with Washington State, expect Bryant to be right in the middle of the offensive fireworks. Even as a tight end, he's always a deep threat. He was good against the state rival a year ago. 

The Cougars, always looking for big-play receivers, recruited Bryant and he told how he took an unofficial trip to Pullman. Always congenial, he described it as a nice town, a small town, different than Seattle. 

While he was set on going to Washington, Bryant, similar to teammate Trey Adams, conceded he didn't have WSU as his second choice. 

"It was probably Oklahoma," he said. "I liked them."

Look for Bryant to have a big day in what well could be his final game at Husky Stadium. 

Of course, he didn't say that.