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By LARRY VAUGHT
KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quest to add depth to future defensive lines could get a boost if Columbus, Ohio, defensive end Derrick Bryant decides to play for the Wildcats.
The 6-4, 230-pound Bryant, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds, had 85 tackles, including 12 quarterback sacks, and broke up seven passes for Brookhaven High School.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had a variety of scholarship offers including Michigan, his favorite team growing up. Others who have offered include Oregon, UCLA, Michigan State, Kansas, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia.
Then there is Kentucky, a team that BryantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father, Lorenzo, says has impressed his son.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Without question Kentucky is one of the final three or four schools he has on his list,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look for any newcomers on that list because that would not be fair to other schools and Derrick also wants to get ready for his season.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lorenzo Bryant says associate coach Joker Phillips and recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith have Ã¢â‚¬Å“been very goodÃ¢â‚¬Â with his son during the recruiting process.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They write him constantly. Things they can do, they do,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said.
While there have been reports that Kentucky, Oregon and UCLA are his final three schools, BryantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father says he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still hard to tell and hard for me to speak his mind because it might change. But I can say for sure that Kentucky is in that group,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really believe he will make a decision before our first game so heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have where heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to school out of the way.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But he will be sure about his decision. He wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t commit and then de-commit like some players do.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lorenzo Bryant says his son is a little different from some highly recruited high school players.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Derrick is the type of young man that is really dedicated to proving his worth as a player,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You rarely get a kid like that. He wants to prove heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worthy of all this attention. But he also wants to be able to concentrate on his high school season and academic endeavors. They are both very important to him.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lorenzo Bryant says recruiting has been hectic at times with two or three coaches from up to 16 schools contacting him or his son.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why Derrick decided to take a step back and let me handle the calls,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He lets the calls go through me and I get the messages to him. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to tell anyone anything that is not true. But his season is less than a month away and he wants to make this decision. However, he wants to make sure it is the right decision and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly know when he will be ready to make that final call.Ã¢â‚¬Â