A day after the NFL draft concluded earlier this month, former Austin Peay defensive standout Juantarius Bryant acquired a textual content message he thought would change his life.
“When [Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees] informed me they’ve a spot for me on the rookie minicamp, my coronary heart simply began racing,” Bryant, who went undrafted in 2020, informed the Tennessee-based college scholar newspaper on the time. “It made me begin considering ‘onerous work actually does repay.’ ”
However when Bryant arrived on the rookie camp final week, the defensive again was turned away.
It was solely then Bryant realized he was duped by somebody with an Atlanta space code posing because the Falcons’ assistant.
“It’s most positively one of the embarrassing issues that has ever occurred to me and a really humbling expertise,” Bryant said in a statement posted Saturday to Twitter, including that he apologized to the Falcons for the mixup.
“It’s been a tough few days. … I have no idea or perceive why this has occurred, however I do know that every thing occurs for a purpose,” Bryant mentioned.
Bryant’s agent, Corey Alexander, mentioned he talked with the Falcons and that “all events concerned are annoyed however [Bryant] will get his alternative quickly.”
A Nashville, Tenn. native, Bryant walked on the Austin Peay soccer crew in 2015 and helped flip across the program. He earned a scholarship earlier than his redshirt junior season and was voted captain his senior yr. Bryant was named to the first-team All-Ohio Valley Convention his closing season after making 108 tackles for the 11-4 Governors.
However his skilled prospects took successful final spring when this system’s professional day, used to showcase potential draft picks to NFL groups, was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He spent this previous yr coaching in hopes of incomes an NFL supply.
“Sure, this was heartbreaking for me,” Bryant mentioned of the tryout hoax. “However simply one other stepping stone that I’m not afraid to confess or overcome.”