Our scouting report series on Virginia Tech's 2020 recruiting class continues with four-star defensive end Alec Bryant, the Hokies' highest-rated recruit in the 2020 class. Below are the players that we have already covered in this series of scouting reports.
- 3* WR Tyree Saunders
- 3* RB Marco Lee
- 3* RB Jordan Brunson
- 3* RB Jalen Hampton
- 3* TE Wilfried Pene
- 3* WR Dallan Wright
- 3* OL Kaden Moore
- 3* OT Parker Clements
Alec Bryant's recruitment took a twist in the fall when he decided to decommit from LSU. That opened the door foe plenty of suitors including Virginia Tech, USC, and Oklahoma; with VT's #TX2VT also just starting to take off after the commitment of 2021 four-star QB Dematrius Davis.
Tech took advantage of their Texas momentum gained from the Davis commitment and hosted Bryant on an official visit the weekend before the Early Signing Day (along with multiple other signees including Robert Wooten and Wilfried Pene). Within the next few days, Bryant would commit and sign with the Hokies, becoming the consensus highest-rated signee in VT's 2020 class.
Bryant had a productive senior season with 16 tackles for loss including 6 sacks plus 4 forced fumbles and 45 total tackles on the season. Additionally, Bryant helped lead his team to the state championship game at the 5A level in Texas.
While he doesn't have an overall highlight reel, here's a look at some of his senior tape.
Any evaluation of Bryant starts with the fact that he already has good size for the position at 6'3'' and 240 pounds. His weight also appears to be good weight given the athleticism and solid speed he shows off the edge and chase-down ability that makes him an effective run defender even when plays are run to the opposite side.
His athleticism is on display a lot as a pass rusher with the good twitch and bend he shows around the edge that is important for anyone working on the edge. Additionally, Bryant shows a good first step off the line of scrimmage that should help his skill set translate well to the collegiate level.
One of the things that stands out the most with Bryant is his high motor that shows both as a pass rusher and run defender. His reactions and awareness are also pretty good as he does a good job to respond whether it's to an option play or a to a quarterback looking to scramble and escape the pocket. That awareness shows even more as a run defender where he shows a good knack for finding the right place to be and then have the discipline to do his job rather than try to force something that may not be there.
An underrated plus for Bryant is the fact that he is a pretty good tackler who does a good job making sure that he wraps up whoever he is bringing down whether it's a runner or a QB.
Now there is definitely room for Bryant to grow as his numbers last season were solid but not spectacular, though that likely was in part due to receiving more attention from opposing offensive lines. Additionally, Bryant has some pass rush moves in his arsenal, but definitely has room to grow and become more refined as a pass rusher.
Overall, Bryant is a talented defensive end who does a lot of things well and should be able to come and push for a spot in the two-deep this upcoming season. Even if he doesn't break in this year, expect Bryant to receive regular playing time out of the two-deep starting in 2021 with a great chance at starting by 2022, and being a quality edge rusher who brings more size on the edge than we've seen in the past for Tech, something that has been a priority for VT since changing defensive line coaches.
Virginia Tech made a great December addition in Alec Bryant who could easily go from highest-rated signee to starter by the 2022 season.