3-star defensive lineman Bryant commits to IU

Replenishing the defensive line is one of Indiana’s recruiting focuses for 2017.

Kevin Wilson’s staff seemed to take another step in that direction this weekend, picking up a verbal commitment from Texas defensive end Alfred Bryant. Considered a three-star prospect in the 247 Sports Composite rankings, Bryant is the fourth projected defensive lineman and the seventh recruit to pledge to IU’s 2017 class.

Bryant, who also goes by the name Lance, made 12 sacks and 20 tackles for loss as a junior last fall at Manvel High School near Houston, Texas. The 6-foot-1, 236-pound prospect has offers from Arkansas, California, Cincinnati, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas State, among others.

He announced his commitment Saturday night via his Twitter account. Bryant did not respond to messages left by The Herald-Times on Sunday.

“First of all I would like to thank God for allowing me to be recruited by multiple D1 Universities because without Him none of this would be possible,” Bryant posted on Twitter. “And also I would like to thank the schools and coaching staffs that have offered me an opportunity to play for their university. I would like to thank my family and teammates for your support, as well as my coaches. After discussions with my parents and prayer, I’ve decided to commit to Indiana University.”

According to 247 Sports, Bryant is considered the No. 47 weak side defensive end in the class of 2017. He attends the same high school that produced incoming freshman offensive lineman Mackenzie Nworah. Both players gained experience in a strong Manvel program that has competed at Texas’ Class 6A level.

“He projects as a 4-3 defensive end with the possibility of being versatile enough to play an odd-front standing edge rusher position,” Scout.com’s Gabe Brooks wrote about Bryant this spring.

IU has made the defensive line a priority so far this cycle. Darius Latham left the program in December to turn pro, while Nick Mangieri and Adarius Rayner graduated. The Hoosiers also lost three high school targets to decommitments prior to signing day before landing Mississippi defensive tackle Jerome Johnson and Illinois end Allen Stallings late in the 2016 cycle.

IU also has verbal commitments in place from three-star 2017 prospects LeShaun Minor, a defensive tackle from Ben Davis, Britt Beery, an end from Carmel, and Tramar Reece, an end from Florida.

After Bryant’s commitment, IU’s class is ranked No. 11 in the Big Ten and No. 73 nationally by 247 Sports.


  1. Bryant looks like a great commit due to his high motor. He doesn’t stop until he gets to the ball even if he over shoots the QB or ball carrier and has to turn around to get the tackle. This is a trait that is hard to teach and with the great weight training and condition at IUFB he will be a very good DL player. I hope IU can keep him and not lose his commitment as more teams find out about him.

  2. Seems like a very good get for IU. But we need a lot more young men like Bryant to commit before IU’s recruiting classes will be ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten Conference (and please don’t say the ranking does not matter. It is a key indicator and influences other recruits. It matters.) I think it’s going to take two more years, a lot of hard work by the coaching staff, and some good fortune before IU will field a “good” defense. But this is another step in the right direction.

  3. I agree we need to get more 4 star kids. But the last 3 defensive recruits are all explosive and disruptive players that look like the kind of kids that could be difference makers for the defense. These are better recruits. KW without Tom Allen did not get this kind of explosive athletes. This kid has a very high motor. He went from hardly playing as a sophomore to averaging a sack a game as a junior. He’s impressive on tape. He needs to learn to run through the tackle and not just to the tackle but he is really quick and can put pressure on qb’s. Reece is the same way but needs to add weight. Minor, if he is still as quick at 290, looks like he could start at d tackle as a freshmen. We haven’t had that athletic and disruptive of a d tackle in my memory. Always hoped Darius Latham would be that guy but he never quite put it all together. Yes it will probably take a couple more years, but this is a really nice trend.

  4. 123 you are right about needing more 4 stars but you are right about these kids. Give them time to mature and gain more weight through lifting and they will be like 4 star players or better. You are also right about getting disruptive players now with Coach Allen and Coach Hagen recruiting down in the areas they used to coach. A couple of the players do need to learn to finish of tackles with their bodies instead of arms but there are big hitters with the other recruits.

    Minor could play as a freshman if he learns to stay lower and learns the techniques to play against bigger OL in the B1G. BIG East has great/very good coaches and it will be equal to SEC. If IU has the season we are hoping for, based on the new players and coaches, then the higher rated star players will commit very soon. It is good to see better disruptive players in recruiting class as that is what our defense needs. I hope IU can hang on to this players as the signing time comes around.

  5. I think it’s good to remember we’ve led the B1G in offense and put several guys into the NFL without any 4 or 5 star recruits. That said, the best teams generally start with the best recruiting classes. We know that the 4 and 5 star defensive players aren’t coming to IU (yet). But they are recruiting the next best thing- explosive athletes that can grow into those roles. KW’s recruiting classes always make a late push. If this team does what’s expected, 6-6 or better, watch for this class to be his best to date.

  6. I guess in theory if 3 star athletes are going to become 4 star athletes then percentage speaking 4 and 5 star athletes become 5 and 6 (nfl draft picks) star athletes, respectively.

  7. Excellent point, t. We sorta got used to the theory/idea/(over the past decades) that IU Football has to rely on “hidden gems” or “dark horse” talent that will, hopefully, be “coached up” to avoid complete follies.

    But why should that be the fallback plan for our hoops….And if it is the fallback plan in basketball, shouldn’t we have a top X’s and O’s coach to “coach them up” on the chalkboard elements of the game as well?

    Shouldn’t a great recruiter also be a coach with a very high level of X’s and O’s respect(more than just a finder of hidden athletic 3-star gems) amongst his coaching peers in order to land the 4-star and 5-star recruits? And by the time you develop this 3-star and moved his “individual”game to finally align with his size/athletic ability, he quickly garners the attention of the NBA/NFL and bolts.
    The window to chase banners or land in a higher level bowl game is very small when working with “coaching up” every next hidden gem or mini MJ. Great for a beauty pageant judge’s resume…but a very small window to improve a team(especially when already working with what may be considered a poor X’s and O’s coach).

  8. The top college football coaches all say the same thing; the success of any college football program is mostly about recruiting the best talent. That’s why so many universities over-spend on facilities and coaching compensation. The athletic “arms race” is all about attracting the best athletes.

  9. I was specifically referring to football. However, for both fb and especially bb it is a trap that becomes like a cancer to the program. Comments often communicated; could, would, should, boy he is really improving, overachiever, we are close, another off night, the refs, in a couple years, he is a good player that others overlooked, if only this or that, just need one or two players etc etc etc 2016-1987=29 years and no ncaa bb title and very limited success. That is well over a quarter of a century and counting for bb. Regardless of the controversy B.K. could develop 3 star players and blend them in with 4 and 5 stars and create a beautiful midnight sky.

  10. “the refs” was a favorite of Geoff. Wonder how Geoff is doing these days….?

    I do also think that local media infects their biases into the equation. Zellerpalooza…..and the infatuation with wing spans and raw athleticism(while giving very little honest critique of how other top programs land the entire package, a fully rounded and experienced recruit/baller, rather than simply obsess over “upside” athletic ability) serves as an endless form of silent apology for something lacking in the ability to truly lure the top talent ready to play for trophies and banners upon arrival on campus.

    You can sell how you’ve turned hidden gems into the next D-Wade, but sooner or later potential recruits want to see evidence that there is something special enough in the coach to take a program deep into a tournament. Lower star or high star.,..All these young men/women want to display their talents in front of the brightest lights possible. The truly elite stars out of h.s. also want a coach with a great mind for the game who can construct a great team…The hidden gems are often more individualistic and thankful to just be noticed, while having the personal development and the stage of a large university in a power conference.

  11. t, the 4 and 5 star athletes are near their limit so no they don’t become 6 stars. Now a 2 star can become a 5+ star if you work like JJ Watt. My comment about 3 star becoming 4 stars after a year of weight training is because often they grow and add weight. If a rating group looked at them as a senior high school player after one year of redshirt, they would be rated as a 4 star player. Most 4 and 5 star players are near the height they will be; those that still grow by several inches could be thought of as 6th star if they redshirt.

    Back to the recruits, I really like the players they are getting. Before IU defense got some big hitters but not a lot of big hitters. The 2017 class so far would be called big hitters with major motors. In the past the players were described as good size, working hard they can get better quickness. The players this year are already quick, big, and they have great motors.

    I like the players we are now going after and getting. We need to keep expanding the class and building it like they are now. Of course if the recruit that brings the lumber and has a great motor is your son it is hard to miss him. Keep bringing in the right players defense – GO HOOSIERS!

  12. I like many of the recruits IU fb is getting also. However, if all things are equal I will take 4 star recruits over 3 star recruits every time (given that all things are equal). It is a stretch to say a 2 star recruit catches up with a 5 or even a 4 star player on a consistent basis. It is more of the exception rather than the rule.

  13. Distant planets were once thought to be ‘stars.’ Sometimes there was disappointment in discovering something so bright was simply Uranus, said Tom Crean.

  14. Kind a like drawing to an inside straight in the game of poker. Over the long haul it is fools gold and a loser.

  15. t- more than 90% of 5 star recruits get drafted into the NFL. That said, we’ve had 4 4-star recruits- David Kenney, Antonio Allen, Darrius Latham and Rashad Fant. Kenney is at a d2 school. Allen is looking at jail time, Latham went undrafted but has a shot at the NFL and Fant is a good but undersized corner. That is while 2 star recruit Bobby Richardson started this year for New Orleans. David Kenney was a very promising looking D end out of high school but he wasn’t as quick or explosive as the 2 recruits in this years class. Latham had size and athletic ability but his tape was not as explosive or disruptive compared to the d tackle just recruited. Antonio Allen ran through people and hit with an intensity of a Mike Tyson punch but he wasn’t all that fast. We are getting faster, more explosive guys. Yes they will need time in the weight room but they will definitely make the defense more athletic. I agree with V13 that the change will pay dividends down the road and maybe as fast as next year.

  16. 2 star development into nfl starter is exception rather than rule…it does happen from time to time but at much lower percentage than the higher star players (4 and 5)

  17. t, 2 star players don’t develop into NFL starters often. I do say though that the difference between 3 star and 4 or 5 star players is due more to exposure than it is talent of the player. IU needs to show they can consistently win before they will get more 4 and 5 star players. With the recruiting bases that Maryland and Rutgers have it is important for IU to win B1G games this year because with the new coaches the B1G East is beginning to look like the SEC West. To win consistently IU needs to start getting 4 and 5 star athletes and they won’t if things stay the same.

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