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45 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Marquel Bryant

In which BracketCat counts down the 45th day until kickoff with a profile of defensive end Marquel Bryant.

Nice smile, Marquel Bryant. Now let's see it after a monster sack of David Ash, please.
Nice smile, Marquel Bryant. Now let's see it after a monster sack of David Ash, please.
Brett Deering

#45 Marquel Bryant
Redshirt Sophomore
6-3 | 241
Dallas, Texas


Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Marquel Bryant (b. Oct. 29, 1992) is a bit of a project, but one with a very promising upside, which any informed observer would expect from a cousin of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

At just 215 pounds, Bryant clearly wasn't close to ready to play defensive end at the Division I level when we signed him, especially not in the Big 12, but the promise of that position is what secured his signature for the Cats.

Everyone else wanted to him play at linebacker. But don't be fooled by his size. He's a natural pass rusher.

Bryant simply needed to live in the weight room for his entire first season. The fruit of that labor is that he now checks in approximately at his target weight of 240 pounds. And that's key, because we need him to be excellent.

Ryan Mueller is our only other proven defensive end, but he mostly played inside the line in passing situations last season. Alauna Finau is a decent player who missed part of 2012 due to injury. Laton Dowling hasn't shown much.

The opportunity is wide open for Bryant, who had just three tackles last season, to step into the two-deep as a redshirt sophomore, and maybe even start. We certainly need his athleticism on the field in a big way.