Bryant Still Has Purple and Gold Plans

Jaimie Bryant (

When Steve Sarkisian left Washington for USC, it was hard on a lot of players and recruits. But there was one recruit out there who had been planning on playing for Sark for some time - Tumwater's Jaimie Bryant. When the news hit that Sark wasn't going to be at Washington anymore, he didn't know what to think.

"It was hard," Bryant told Thursday. "It sucked because I built a relationship with them. To have them leave and to have to build a new relationship, it happens."

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Bryant, who didn't sign with the Huskies last year because he was asked to delay his enrollment, was left in a little bit of a spot - especially when Sark never called Bryant when he took the head coaching job at USC. In fact, Bryant hadn't heard a thing from any other schools, but the new Washington coaches have reached out to him in the hopes that his plan to enroll at UW was still what he wanted to do.

"I'm still in contact with the (UW) coaches right now," said Bryant, who said he spoke with new running backs coach Keith Bhonapha last week. "They called me and just wanted to see what I was doing, touch bases. They want to get me up there as soon as possible.

"I still need to keep talking with them but I'm pretty sure I won't be going up winter quarter; I'll be going up during spring ball. I'll try earlier, but whatever happens, happens."

So right now nothing has changed for Bryant. Despite a coaching change he is on track to make it to Montlake in time for spring football.

When Bryant made his verbal commitment to the Huskies back in late April, he was 275 pounds. He's tried hard to maintain playing shape during the time away from football. "I got a gym membership and worked out there but it expired so now I'm going back to the high school and working out with my old coach," he said.

The new UW staff apparently has the same plans for Bryant that the old staff did - at least in the beginning of spring. "I'm going in for defense but whatever they need they can get from me," Bryant confirmed.

But Bryant added that he's definitely planning on trips up to Seattle before enrolling - if for no other reason than to get to know the coaches he'll be with. To this point he has not talked with either new defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski or defensive line coach Jeff Choate.

"I'd like to develop a relationship with them to see what kind of personalities they are," he said. "Just build the relationships. I'll try and schedule something. Whatever works for them."

Bryant admitted he didn't know much about Petersen when he accepted the UW head coaching position, but he's warmed up to the thought of being coached up by the former Boise State head man. "I hadn't really head anything about them but the more and more and stuff I've seen on Sports Center…it's going to be a good thing for Washington, a good step," Bryant said.

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