"There are a lot of different stories and versions on where I got it," said a chuckling Bryant. "My grandmother game me the name when I was a little kid because I always watched Sesame Street and loved Big Bird (laugh). She couldn't drag me away from the TV when Big Bird was on (laugh). And then when I got in junior high the media started calling me Bird because of the way I flew around on the field, but the real way I got that nickname is my grandmother."
Bryant helped his team to the fourth round of the Class 6A playoffs, leading the them in tackles (151), while also collecting four interceptions. He also doubled as a fullback, and had over 400 yards of offense and 11 touchdowns.
"I feel like I improved a lot, because I gained some more weight. I am up to 220 now and that really helped. Two years ago I had the talent, but I was not as strong. This year we did not have the talent around me that we did a couple of years ago, but I stepped up my game and almost got us to the state championship game. We were just one game short. I made a lot of plays on defense and scored a lot of touchdowns on offense. It was a good year."
Coaches Nutt and Price stopped by his school and home Wednesday.
"They want me to get there in June to start school and start my workouts. They want me to learn the playbook between now and then so I am ready to roll for the 7-on-7 games this summer. I told them I wanted to get up there and go at it hard all summer so I can get in the rotation next fall. I'm not going to lie; I want a starting spot at Will linebacker. As much as they want me to be able to step up next fall and be a contributor, I want to step up even more. I have to do what I have to do to get that spot, and I am going to do whatever I have to do to get that spot. Coach Nutt said as long I do what I did in high school, I will be on the field playing and playing a lot next fall. I just have to perform like I did in high school. There will be some adjustments, but I am hitting the ground running, and I will be prepared. When I get there in June I will already know that playbook like the back of my hand and then I will have all summer to get the plays down in 7-on7's."
What questions did Bryant's parents have for the Ole Miss head coach?
"They talked about academics and how they have tutors set up for you seven days a week. You have access to their tutors from 8 a.m. through midnight, so you have to really try to not do well to not do well. If you do not go to class and listen to the teachers and don't study, then you will fail out. But if you go to class, listen, and go to your tutors daily, you will do well. They have a really good tutoring program up there."
What was said that Bryant liked most?
"I just like the fact that they want me to come in there and play early. Like I said, if I play like I did in high school, I will be the starting Will linebacker next fall. Now I just have to get out there and be as productive as I was last year."
Bryant looks forward to several things on his official visit this weekend.
"I just want to get to know some of the players over there that I did not meet the last time I was up there. I got to stay for about a week in Oxford this summer when me and Andrew Johnson and Gerod Holliman went up there. We have some friends on their track team and on their football team, so we went up there and hung out with them. I got a pretty good idea of what Oxford is like because of that trip. I have already toured the facilities. I just want to get to meet the rest of the players and see where I will be living. That's about it."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org