Like many high school athletes across the country, Thomas Jefferson 2022 offensive lineman Nick Bryan has the dream of playing college football at the Division-I or Power Five level.
Bryan is also educated enough to know that dream won’t just happen because he wants it to happen and knows that it’s only going to become reality through continued development, hard work and long hours of training.
Step one of that dream occurred last week as Bryan (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) received his first three Division I offers from Kent State, UMass and Old Dominion.
Over the weekend, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Bryan about this big achievement, the impressive dedication he’s showing to make all of this happen and a call he received last week from Dave Borbely at Pitt.
“Getting these offers was like a verification for me as a player,” Bryan tells Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I think it was doubted as to whether I’d go to a D-I school but when Kent State offered then UMass, then Old Dominion, it was a verification that programs believe that I could play at the D-1 level. The coaches tell me that they’re impressed with my physicality and agility. I’m a lot faster than other lineman and coaches like the way I move, I’m physical and I always finish my blocks.
“Prior to getting these offers, my focus was just on working out, getting better and just preparing to get better for my senior season. I really wasn’t thinking about offers coming in too much but when they did come in, my brain kind of switched over and while it’s nice, I’m still remaining focused on my workouts and getting better. All of this does motivate me a bit more, knowing that I have to keep working, I have to put more weight on, I have to be able to do more reps. I’m of the mindset now that I have to be the best because their best is already there and I have to find a way to be better than them.”
In order to try and be the best, Bryan is showing serious dedication to doing that, along with holding down a job and keeping up with his academics at Thomas Jefferson High School. Bryan went over what a typical week looks like for him in order to get all of this done.
— Nick Bryan (@NickBry46357328) February 12, 2021
“My trainers Blaze and Temple (BPA At The Patch), who work with me on speed and agility, they’ve helped me tremendously,” said Bryan. “Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I wake up at 3 AM in the morning and get to Temple’s house around 3:30 AM to get my workout in and lift to around 6 AM. I’ll then come home and get ready for school. I work a job Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday’s and on Saturday’s I go to work with Blaze around 2 PM to work on speed and agility. Then on Sunday’s I work with Temple again on my strength. That’s my normal schedule for the week.
“Coaches have told me they like how early I get up to work out before school. They know I also work a job and like the dedication I’m showing to getting better. For me, it’s really a mental thing because you can’t just say you want to be the best, you have to act and work like you’re the best.”
One of the coaches that’s been impressed with Bryan is the offensive line coach at Pitt, Dave Borbely. The two sides spoke for the first time on Thursday, which has given Bryan even more motivation.
“I got home from school and I wasn’t expecting a call and I look over at my phone and it’s going off,” Bryan said. “I answered and it was Coach Borbely and he said that he likes my film, likes that I’m a physical guy, I know you’re going to get bigger and I just wanted to reach out to you and tell you that we like you. He told me that he’s going to be staying in contact and I thanked him and told him that means a lot to me, which it really did. To know that a prestigious program like Pitt is looking at me really means a lot.”
Along with Pitt, Bryan told PSN that he’s also hearing from coaches at Syracuse.