Not only was Saturday the final game of the season, it also marked the end of a career.
Massachusetts Pirates wide receiver Lamont Bryant announced he will be walking away from the game of football.
The 30-year-old Bryant, born in Virginia, began his journey to the game of football at Denbigh High School.
It was there where he started off not outside the numbers, but under center.
After finishing his career as a quarterback with a 7-3 record in high school, he needed to make the transition to wide receiver in college. The adjustment was hard for him not because of the position itself, but due to his attitude.
“I played quarterback until I got to college,” Bryant said. “It was difficult [to change positions] because I was a primadonna and I was drinking the orange juice, orange soda and stuff.”
Bryant’s switch to wide receiver came with a few hiccups. He began his college career red-shirting as a freshman making most of his impact on special teams where he blocked two kicks.
He ended up gaining his stride in 2009, finishing the the season as Morgan State’s fourth leading receiver, accounting for 18 receptions, 251 yards and two touchdowns, which earned himself a First-Team All-MEAC selection.
He recorded a total of 44 receptions for 677 yards and four touchdowns before he began his career in the NFL in 2012 with the Baltimore Ravens, before moving on to play with the Tennessee Titans.
He then moved to the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and then he got his first taste of arena football with the now dissolved Spokane Empire last year.
However, it wasn’t until when he got to the Pirates that he got his first taste of what the better teams are at their core. A family.
“It was a great camaraderie, we were all around each other 24/7 so we all knew each other.” Bryant said. “We just treat each other more like family than a team because we’ve been together for so long since training camp.”
His impact and his experience was felt by the leaders of the team and Pirates head coach Ameer Ismail had the utmost praise for Bryant.
“One of the most versatile and athletic guys we have. Great players can play multiple positions and he is a rare bread,” Ismail said. “Played receiver at a high level, had infectious enthusiasm and energy and worked [hard] every day. Not only that, he was a great teammate and was a guy that gave back to the community. Couldn’t say enough great things about Lamont as a player and as a person. We were lucky to have him.”
Nobody gets closer to a wide receiver than the one throwing the ball and quarterback Sean Brackett gushed over his now former teammate. It’s even to the point where Brackett is going to try and persuade Bryant to put on the shoulder pads once again, even shouting out the receiver’s home state.
“Lamont’s a very passionate player and it resonates with the rest of the team. Loved playing with him this year,” Brackett said. “I know he’s talking about this being his last season playing but I’m gunna see if I can get him back next year cuz he’s a great player and teammate. Shoutout 757 baby!”
Now a retired player, Bryant highlighted his career saying that while he does think he left a little out there, he’s grateful for what he was able to accomplish.
“I did everything I wanted to play in the NFL but no because I wanted a ring that’s the ultimate things that’s what you play and I didn’t get that but that’s ok I had a great career,” he said.
Despite thinking about what could have been, Bryant is excited about the next chapter of his life and giving back to the community with his next career.
“I definitely want to be a coach,” Bryant said. “Just to give the kids out there that don’t think they have an opportunity and show them that they can do whatever they want if they follow their dreams and stay on course.”