When the Irish face off against the Temple Owls on August 31, 2013, Greg Bryant may be the starting Running Back. The 5-star Running Back from Delray Beach, Florida gave his verbal pledge to Head Coach Brian Kelly on Sunday morning while on an Official Visit to South Bend. He selected the “40-year plan” in South Bend over replacing Marcus Lattimore in South Carolina.
The pledge of Bryant cannot be overstated. Following the National Title Game on January 7th, 2013, it is likely that Notre Dame will lose its two leading rushers. Theo Riddick is graduating in December and will attempt to make a career in the NFL. Cierre Wood, despite another year of eligibility, will most likely follow Riddick into the NFL. This leaves Notre Dame with George Atkinson in its backfield as the lone player with significant playing time. Atkinson should be tremendous in the starting role. However, the significant playing time will be available to the number two Running Back. William Mahone and Cam McDaniel will most likely battle in the Spring for that position.
Bryant has the ability to be the number two player. He has been described as looking like a college Junior despite still only being a Senior in High School. Staff Writer Nick Combs discussed his ability in a Friday Recruiting update:
As a 5 star running back coming out of high school means that you have it all, speed, toughness, durability, agility, and strength. On film he uses all of those attributes to make guys miss. He can also catch the football in traffic very well. During high school they would split him out at flanker when they went 5 wide and he would go up and get the football.
Greg Bryant appears in everyone’s recruiting rankings. Rivals.com has Bryant ranked the highest of all services. Their assessment of Bryant’s ability is probably most accurate. He is ranked as the second best Running Back and the sixteenth player overall in the country. Only Manti Te’o and Jimmy Clausen were ranked higher than Bryant in the Rivals100. Notre Dame had not landed a 5-star Running Back since James Aldridge in 2006. Irish fans are hoping Bryant’s career is more successful.
Greg Bryant currently checks in at 5’11” 198 lbs. In his Junior season, Bryant ran for 2,180 yards and 25 touchdowns. He added 272 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. Bryant’s 9.7 yard average is extremely impressive.
When Notre Dame landed in the National Title game this season, only T.J. Jones had offers from both Georgia and Alabama. In 2013, Notre Dame will have another player who can make that claim. That player is Greg Bryant. Brian Kelly landing a commitment from such a tremendous player is huge for 2013 and beyond. It is just another notch in his recruiting belt. It is hard to believe that people doubted whether or not Kelly could recruit when he took the job in 2010.