The departures of Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson to the NFL leave gaps that Auburn will have to replace on the defensive line and will force new players to step into leadership roles.
Big Kat Bryant, a senior from Cordele, Georgia, is stepping into a leadership role as one of Auburn’s returning starters from last season’s defensive line.
With Auburn bringing in several new JUCO transfers and true freshmen to the defensive line, Bryant wants to make sure they adapt to the culture of Auburn’s defense without taking things personally.
“The thing I tell them is just embrace it,” Bryant says to the newcomers. “Because they’ve been coached differently and everyone knows G [Rodney Gardner] he’s different, and I tell them don’t get in your feelings about little things, he’s trying to coach you.”
While Bryant’s leadership has helped the young guys develop off the field, his on the field talent has helped Auburn at the start of camp. Bryant has seen snaps at both buck and defensive end.
“I’m really all over the place right now,” Bryant said. “I’m really playing end a lot, but then I get buck too. I say I’m playing end the most right now because it’s just the simple fact of depth.”
Bryant has expressed disappointment in his performance on the field as he believes his sack production could have been better. In 2019, Bryant had 1.5 sacks, but nine quarterback hurries.
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“It started back for me in the spring,” said Bryant. “I was working out with a lot of guys in the NFL and just learning their technique and how they play. I just kinda like the drills and everything that I took from them I took, I invested in myself and brought the same load of cones and cone drills and ladders and everything. I invested in myself a little bit more than I have in the past, and I feel like it really has contributed.”
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