‘Embarrassing & humbling’: Ex-college football star falls for cruel hoax promising him shot at NFL – but could get silver lining
Bryant, a former defensive back at Austin Peay, revealed on Twitter over the weekend that he had traveled to Flowery Branch in Georgia last week in the belief that he had been invited by the Falcons’ defensive coordinator, Dean Pees.
On arriving, however, Bryant was told that his name was most certainly not on the list, so he wasn’t coming in.
“Apparently the opportunity of attending rookie minicamp with the Atlanta Falcons was not legit,” Bryant wrote in a message to his Twitter following.
“Someone contacted me from a 404 area code number pretending to be Dean Pees… I did not realize it was not a legit opportunity until I traveled to the facility.”
It’s been a rough few days, but I felt the need to clear the air and get this off my chest. Honestly ready to move on from the situation. pic.twitter.com/yUJELOstZW— Juantarius Bryant (@TheyLoveMyHair_) May 15, 2021
Apologizing to the Falcons, Bryant added: “It’s most definitely one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me and a very humbling experience.
"I do not know or understand why this has happened to me.
“But I do know that everything happens for a reason. Yes, this was heart breaking for me, but just another stepping stone that I am not afraid to admit or overcome.”
Bryant was a 1st-team all-conference defensive back in 2019 and played 43 games in total for the Austin Peay Governors, with 242 career tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception.
After ambitions of making it to the NFL, he was left on the shelf during the draft following his senior year.
Despite the embarrassment with the Falcons, there could yet be a silver lining for Bryant, according to ESPN reporter Michael Rothstein.
He tweeted that Bryant had been invited to a workout organized by HUB Football in San Diego at the weekend, where NFL scouts would likely be present.
I've been told Juantarius Bryant -- the player who fell victim to a hoax about a tryout with the Falcons last week -- has been invited to work out at a @HUBFootball2020 camp this weekend in San Diego and NFL scouts are expected to be in attendance.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) May 17, 2021
Assuming it’s not another hoax, that is.