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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.

Marquel Bryant is smiling because this should be his year to lock up a starting position.
Marquel Bryant is smiling because this should be his year to lock up a starting position.
Brett Deering

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


Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Marquel Bryant (b. Oct. 29, 1992) is a long and athletic rush end who started the 2013 season opener and was a part of the regular rotation throughout his sophomore year. He should be a starter this season.

After redshirting in 2011, Bryant appeared in five games, recording one tackle apiece against Missouri State, Texas Tech and West Virginia.

Last year, he played in 12 games as a sophomore, including starts against North Dakota State and Louisiana, and finished the year with 15 tackles, including three for a loss and two sacks to go along with a pass breakup.

Bryant registered a career-high three stops against Baylor and ended the regular season strong with a career-best two sacks at Kansas. But we're still waiting for him to break through and become a force as a rush end.

He 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 he signed, especially not in the Big 12, but the promise of that position is what secured his signature for the Wildcats.

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.