CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- While defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) left little doubt Sunday at the Nike Football Training Camp that he was among the elite prospects in the country, he was not the only participant to have an outstanding performance. Throughout the day, linebacker Larenz Bryant (Charlotte, N.C./Vance) led his group from drill to drill, dominated the 1-on-1’s, and showcased the athleticism needed to excel at the next level en route to earning linebacker MVP honors and a trip to The Opening, a four-day competition at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
College coaches are well aware of the 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect, as 21 schools have offered Bryant so far. After last weekend's competition, Bryant said five schools stood out for him because of location, defensive coaching staff, and having a solid program in the his desired major, communications.
“Right now, Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia are at the top, and my choice will likely come from that group,” Bryant said. “I just want to find a place I can make an impact and become a great player."
The four-star prospect has visited South Carolina and Clemson, and the Palmetto State native spoke highly of both.
“I grew up a South Carolina fan, a Gamecock fan,” Bryant said. “Their recruiting has been awesome. I've been down there for a lot of camps.
"I love Clemson. It's a South Carolina school and I am from South Carolina. They have a good tradition down there, they are making a push for me right now, and they are a top school in my major.”
The Cavaliers have also made Bryant, who made 154 tackles, seven sacks, 23 tackles for loss and four interceptions last season, a priority. The efforts by the Virginia coaching staff have paid off so far.
“They show me attention,” Bryant said. “They are really the top school in my major and I love the defensive coordinator there.”
Two other SEC schools join the group for Bryant, who is impressed by the history in Gainesville and recent play in Athens.
“Florida is a top SEC school with good tradition down there,” Bryant said. “The Gators always have a nice defense. Georgia is magnificent and their defense is very good right now. Their defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is awesome.”
Bryant plans to take his officials, most likely to those five schools, before making his decision. He mentioned only two programs that could cause him to possibly change his top five: Oregon and Alabama, although the Crimson Tide has yet to offer.