Troy lands former 4-star recruit in transfer from USC

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Troy may have not have but one season to utilize the talents of T.J. Bryant, but they’ll take it.

The Trojans got a boost in its defensive backfield as head coach Larry Blakeney announced the transfer of cornerback T.J. Bryant from the University of Southern California on Tuesday.

Bryant, a Tallahassee, Fla., native was a four-star recruit out of Lincoln High School and received offers from the likes of LSU, Alabama and Florida, but chose USC and was also recruited to run track by many schools.

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Bryant, 5-11,185 pounds, played in seven games as a true freshman in 2008 but battled injuries over the next two season and fell to the bottom of USC’s depth chart.

“I love those Troy coaches,” Bryant told Jamie Newberg of Fox Sports Next.

“They believe in me and I believe in them. They put cornerbacks in the league and that’s ultimately where I want to go. It’s just a great opportunity for me to excel and get great coaching. Hopefully I can fulfill my dreams and play in the NFL after Troy.”

Bryant has already finished his degree from USC and under NCAA rules will be eligible to play one season at Troy. He has enrolled in the Master’s program at Troy.

Sources with knowledge of the Troy program say that the Trojans are also in the running to pick up defensive tackle Omari Phillips, a four-star recruit from Venice High School, who has failed to qualify academically at the University of Florida. Phillips is reported to be shopping other SEC schools as well as Miami.

At cornerback, Troy signed Shaq Beverly and also bring in junior college All-American Zach Miller from Butler County Community College (Kan.).

The Trojans will begin fall practice on Aug. 2 and kick off the 2012 season in Birmingham against UAB on Sept. 1.