- 33 tackles
- 11 passes defended
- 9 pass breakups
- 2 interceptions
- 1 forced fumble
It didn’t take long for Coby Bryant to turn into one of the best players in the Cincinnati Bearcats’ secondary. After being a member of an impressive 2017 recruiting class for the program, the three-star defensive back from Akron, Ohio needed only two seasons to estalblish himself. He got a good head start by at least appearing in 12 games as a freshman, but his sophomore season was a much moire impactful run of production.
Bryant started in 12 of 13 games on the season, and still played in the one game he didn’t start against Miami-Ohio. As one of the primary starting cornerbacks, Bryant delivered both as a cover guy and as a playmaker on the ball. He ranked second on the team and eighth in the American Athletic Conference in passes defended (11) and was also second for the Bearcats in pass breakups (nine). In addition, he was one of three players on the roster to secure mutliple interceptions (two) along with a forced fumble.
One of the more underrated parts of Bryant’s game, and something he still needs to improve, was his tackling ability. He flashed promise, and at his size he’s never going to be putting together 100-stop seasons, but with 33 tackles on the edge, he at least held his own, if not more than that.
The Best of the Best
Oct. 20 at Temple
If we were to choose only one game from Bryant’s season to replicate, this would be it. Despite the disappointing ending for the team, Bryant secured both of his picks for this season and also tacked on four tackles and three pass breakups.
Dec. 31 vs. Virginia Tech
In his first bowl game appearance, Bryant set a career-high with eight tackles, including seven solo efforts. That’s a great way to end a year and set up for the next one.
For Next Year
After an already great year, Bryant has to get better. That’s a tough task, but plateauing or regressing is not an option if he hopes to maintain his position with the Bearcats. There is no real reason to believe he won’t improve, however. He is already an experienced starter who can cover top wide receivers, read offenses and make plays on the ball. If he can enhance the skills that are alraedy there and add in ones that aren’t, Bryant will take another giant leap forward in 2019.